Court gavel on a strike plate, with the Scales of Justice and books in the background

New laws take effect on New Year’s Day, including part of the ‘red flag’ gun control law

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By Derek Draplin | The Center Square

Several new laws in Colorado are taking effect on Jan. 1, among them a key part of the state's controversial "red flag" gun control law and one allowing local governments to raise the minimum wage. 

Colorado Democrats passed wide-ranging and progressive laws during the 2019 legislative session, and some take effect on New Year’s Day, just a week before the 2020 legislative session kicks off. 

House Bill 1177: The controversial “red flag” gun control law went into effect immediately on April 12 when it was signed, but petitioners can start filing petitions for extreme risk protection orders (ERPO) with courts January 1. The law allows for family members or law enforcement to request that a judge issue a temporary ERPO if a person is thought to be a threat to themselves or others. 

The legislation received no support from Republicans and was opposed by more than half of the counties in the state and numerous county sheriffs. A few Democrats including Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, also voted against the measure. 

House Bill 1210: The new law taking effect on New Year’s Day allows local governments in the state to raise the minimum wage within their boundaries. 

The city of Denver already approved an increase from $12.85 in 2020, to $14.77 in 2021, and to $15.87 in 2022. Business groups in the state have expressed concern over the increases, saying they would have consequences for businesses and consumers in the city, including job losses and reduced benefits.

House Bill 1248: New lobbying regulations go into effect a week prior to the legislature’s 2020 start. The law requires lobbyists to report their lobbying positions and clients related to new legislation within 72 hours. 

House Bill 1174: Signed into law in May, the legislation is meant to eliminate surprise medical bills by requiring health care providers and facilities to alert patients with health care coverage prior to receiving services conducted by out-of-network providers.

Changes to penalties for violating food establishment regulations and a requirement for landlords to handle bed bug complaints within four days also take effect January 1.