DENVER — Twenty new laws went into effect in Colorado on Friday, including three of the most significant bills to come out of the 2022 legislative session.
The state budget: With the fiscal year starting anew on Friday, the state's 2022-23 budget kicks in. The spending plan, which legislators passed via House Bill 1329, allocates $36.4 billion in tax and cash revenue and federal dollars to cover the expenses of the state government for the next year. Notable among that spending is a 3% boost in pay for state employees; an increase in health care spending by $1.02 billion; a 33.4% hike from current levels; and, $26 million more for public safety, a 15.4% increase.
Fentanyl: major portions of House Bill 1326, the comprehensive measure dealing with the state's fentanyl crisis, go into effect on Friday. That includes requirements for law enforcement to report to district attorneys when they respond to an overdose on whether an arrest was made. District attorneys would be required to report when they do not prosecute someone, based on the information from law enforcement, for violations of the law. Those requirements are in place for the next three years. New felony penalties for possession of between 1 and 4 grams of fentanyl or compounds containing fentanyl also go into effect on Friday.
Collective bargaining: County employees can begin the collective bargaining process in counties with 7,500 or more in population, which applies to all but the 22 smallest counties; home rule counties (Weld), and Denver and Broomfield, which are both cities and counties. However, under Senate Bill 230, county commissioners can reject collective bargaining agreements under their authority over county budgets.
PERA: The state will cut a check Friday for $225 million to the Public Employees Retirement Association, the result of House Bill 1229, which covers an obligation to the state pension plan from 2020 when budget writers recommended holding off that annual payment in the midst of the pandemic-induced recession.
>9NEWS readers can see the full list of laws at Colorado Politics.
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