Governor Jared Polis will hold several bill signing ceremonies in southern Colorado today.
First, the Governor will make a stop at the Crossroads Treatment Center in Pueblo to sign Senate Bill 19-001, which aims to fight the growing opioid epidemic crisis by expanding a pilot program in Pueblo. The program will now be offered in surrounding counties and receive additional resources. Currently, the Pueblo clinic sees roughly 250 patients every day. The bill calls for using $2.5 million dollars of marijuana tax money to fund the project each year for the next two years.
“The opioid crisis has devastated families and communities across southern Colorado, and I am proud to be here today to expand a program we know can help people successfully overcome addiction and lead better lives,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia.
SB19-001 also shifts the responsibility to administer the program from the college of nursing to the center for research into substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery support strategies.
Polis also signed House Bill 19-1287, which increases access to treatment for opioids and substance use disorders. For the 2019-2020 fiscal year the bill appropriates $5.7 million dollars to multiple agencies. Those funds include taxes from marijuana sales.
Another bill signed by Governor Polis was HB19-1174, which prohibits providers from charging exorbitant amounts for out-of-network care when the patient unknowingly went out of network. It also requires providers to inform consumers of their rights regarding bills sent to them by out-of-network providers. The bill does not prohibit patients from incurring out-of-network costs when they intentionally go out-of-network for their care but puts safeguards in place to prevent unexpected medical bills in these situations.
He visited Milberger Farms and signed a bill that provides incentives for school districts to include local produce in lunches. The bill creates two grant programs in the Colorado Department of Education to promote the use of Colorado food products in school meal programs. The cost to start the program is $168,942.
Governor Polis also signed into law Senate Bill 19-174, a bill which will provide tuition assistance for the families of fallen and missing service members. To participate in the program, dependents must not be eligible for federal educational benefits. This bill does not change state or local government revenue or expenditures.