Colorado’s new laws |

Colorado’s new laws

Steven K. Paulson
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” About 30,000 small businesses will be off the hook for business personal property taxes and insurance brokers will be required to tell their customers how much commission they make on each policy they sell under new laws that go into effect Tuesday.

The new laws are among 125 passed this year by lawmakers that have a provision that allows 90 days for voters to challenge them, an option never exercised.

House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, said many of the new laws are aimed at helping families.

“We’re making energy more renewable, child care more affordable, and the insurance industry more accountable,” Romanoff said.

Among the new laws:

” A measure that increases the odds of catching e-mail spammers by providing state enforcement authority similar to federal authority against unwanted e-mails. Colorado consumers will now be able to take complaints to local authorities.

” A new law that allows 900,000 more Coloradans to participate in the burgeoning renewable energy market by allowing them to generate homegrown energy from wind turbines and rooftop solar panels, and still stay on the grid. It also gives customers credit when their meter runs backward from their production of wind and solar power.

” A bill designed to lower the cost of textbooks, helping students and parents save hundreds of dollars each year, requiring publishers to list updates.

Lawmakers also passed a bill that requires insurance companies to pay double damages if they don’t pay what they owe when they owe it.

Republicans also claimed credit for their new laws, including one that requires the state to determine whether it is in the best interest of taxpayers to bid on a toll highway when it is offered for sale or for lease. Another establishes a pine beetle mitigation fund within the Colorado State Forest Service to remove the bark beetle and start to clear infested wood, using only voluntary contributions from the public.

“In these tough economic times, the people of Colorado need real solutions to challenges, not expensive proposals that burden taxpayers’ budgets. Our economy can’t take more taxes and fees or strict mandates that hurt our business climate,” said House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker.

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