DENVER (KDVR) — The new year will bring new laws for Coloradans.
Starting Jan. 1, a few of those new laws may have an impact on the average resident’s wallet. Some things may be less expensive, while others could cost more.
Here is a look at five of those laws and what they mean for you.
Cheaper state park access
Colorado drivers will be able to enjoy the state’s parks for a lower price starting next year. It normally costs $80 for the annual vehicle pass into Colorado’s 42 state parks. But starting Jan. 1, drivers can get the pass for $29 during their annual vehicle registration.
Drivers can opt out, and people without a vehicle can also get the pass for the same price. If a state parks pass is still valid when it’s time for vehicle registration, buyers will be eligible for a partial refund.
The state expects to generate $36 million by adding the pass to vehicle registrations, mostly to help maintain and develop state parks. Some funds will also go to search and rescue teams, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, wildlife projects and educational programs.
Plastic bag fee
Shoppers, break out those reusable bags. Starting in January, stores statewide will charge a 10-cent fee for plastic bags. It’s part of a law passed in 2021 that aims to reduce plastic pollution in the state. That includes an outright ban on plastic bags in 2024.
Advocates for the law say plastic pollution is rampant in the state, showing up as microplastics in Colorado’s waterways — even at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Part of another law created more than two years ago goes into effect in January: the cage-free egg rule. Caged hens in the state will need to be held in enclosures that give them one square foot of floor space. The requirement is just one phase of the state’s efforts to go cage-free by 2025 and applies to producers with at least 3,000 egg-laying hens.
Shoppers will notice the difference on egg cartons, where the letters “COO-COM” will show compliance with the cage-free rule. But they may also notice a change in the price.
Cage-free eggs cost an average of 73 cents more per dozen than conventional eggs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Add that to already-rising egg prices caused by the spread of bird flu in Colorado and nationwide.
Online seller disclosures
Colorado will implement new regulations for online sellers starting in 2023. It requires online marketplaces to get certain information from high-volume sellers — those with 200 or more sales earning $5,000 or more.
The information includes a seller’s contact information, tax identification number and bank account number. High-volume sellers who gross $20,000 or more will also have to provide their full name and physical address.
Lawmakers say the legislation is designed to cut down on brick-and-mortar retail theft.
Right to repair powered wheelchairs
Colorado wants to empower people who used powered wheelchairs to repair the equipment on their own. A new law that takes effect in January requires the manufacturers of powered wheelchairs to provide parts, software and manuals to allow independent repair services.
It will be considered a deceptive trade practice for any manufacturer not to comply.
Right-to-repair laws like these help people extend the life of their electronics, potentially saving them money in the long run.
Bonus: Minimum wage increases
The federal minimum wage is $7.25, but Coloradans already see wages far higher, and another increase will kick in next year.
Colorado voters decided in 2016 to raise the minimum wage over time to $12 an hour by 2020. Since then, the statewide minimum wage has seen annual cost-of-living increases. It will rise to $13.65 an hour in 2023.
The minimum wage will rise even higher in Denver. The city’s lowest-paid workers will get an 8.94% pay increase when the city’s minimum wage increases to $17.29 per hour in January. Denver will have the sixth-highest minimum wage in the U.S., the FOX31 Data Desk found.