5 new Colorado laws in effect now

Natasha Lovato

Natasha Lovato / NewsBreak Denver

(Douglas County, Colo.) By now, most Coloradans are aware of the new bag tax at the grocery store. Here are four other laws that went into effect on Jan. 1.

The carryout bag fee 

The carryout bag fee was implemented to help reduce the waste of single-use plastics or paper and ease into the 2024 complete ban on single-use grocery bags.

This year, stores can furnish customers with a recycled paper carryout bag or a single-use plastic carryout bag for 10 cents per bag. As of Jan.1, 2024, the act will prohibit stores and retail food establishments from providing customers with single-use plastic and carryout bags.

The cage-free egg law

By 2025, all eggs sold at Colorado grocery stores must come from cage-free hens, and this year, modified requirements will go into effect to help farm owners transition into a cage-free environment.

The law was passed to promote animal welfare by requiring Colorado’s egg-laying hens to live in a cage-free environment and also prohibits business owners from selling or transporting Colorado egg products not from a cage-free farm.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture requires one square foot of floor space for each chicken.

Julie Mizak, egg program manager at the Colorado Department of Agriculture, said egg producers would have two years to implement the changes.

“By including enrichments such as scratch areas, perches, nest boxes, and dust bathing, cage-free housing allows hens to exhibit their natural behaviors,” Mizak said.

Colorado Park pass included with vehicle registration

Residents renewing their vehicle registration for 2023 will automatically get a Keep Colorado Wild Pass.

Starting in January 2023, Colorado residents’ vehicle registration renewal will include a $29 pass. Residents can also opt out.

The Keep Colorado Wild Pass provides entry to all Colorado State Parks for a year, including those in Douglas County, like Castlewood Canyon State Park, Roxborough State Park, Cherry Creek State Park, and Chatfield State Park.

More information is available here. 

Consumer right to repair powered wheelchairs

To reduce the cost of wheelchair maintenance bared by the disabled community, Colorado passed a law requiring manufacturers of wheelchairs to provide parts, software, instruction manuals, and more to allow for independent repair services on the wheelchairs.

Before Jan.1, a powered wheelchair owner was required to seek diagnostic help, maintenance, or repair services for the wheelchair from the manufacturer.

Minimum wage increase

As of Jan.1, the minimum wage increased from $12.56 to $13.65 per hour.

The wage for tipped employees increased to $10.63 per hour, and if an employee's tips combined with the employer's cash wage of at least $10.63 per hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage of $13.65, the employer must make up the difference in cash wages.

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Lovato covers local news for Douglas County, Colo. Contact via email: natasha.lovato@newsbreak.com

Douglas County, CO

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