DENVER – A new year means new laws take effect in Colorado.
One requires most grocery, retail, and convenience stores in Colorado to charge 10 cents for every plastic or paper bag shoppers use.
Shoppers in cities like Denver and Boulder who don’t bring their own bags already pay this fee.
Starting Jan. 1, the fee will apply statewide.
While many aren’t thrilled with another fee, shoppers Denver7 spoke to Sunday in Lakewood said it’s a small price to pay.
“I don’t really think it’s that much,” said Vinnie Montoya. “I mean, you pay just as much in tax probably almost, so I really don’t care.”
Tom Yukman, who tries to always bring his own bags when shopping, said the bag fee might cut down on pollution as proponents of the fee hope.
“I think the bag fee is actually a good thing,” said Yukman. “You see too many of them floating around next to the highways, next to the roads, so it’s a good thing to have reusable bags.”
Restaurants and small local shops with no more than three locations do not have to charge the fee.
In addition, people who receive state or federal food assistance do not have to pay the bag fee.
Another new state law boosts Colorado’s minimum wage to $13.65 per hour.
For employees who receive tips, wages will increase to $10.63 an hour.
In Denver, the city’s minimum wage increases to $17.29 per hour.
Workers will see more taken out of their paychecks this year to pay for the state’s new paid family and medical leave program, which voters approved in 2020.
It offers 12 weeks of payments for employees who need to take time off to have a baby, or to recover from a serious illness.
“What employees can expect to see is a 0.45% deduction from their paychecks,” said Tracy Marshall, FAMILI division director.
That works out to about $292 per year for people making $65,000.
“I think this is going to be a real game changer in providing crucial benefits for all employees in this state,” said Emilie Aries, the CEO of Bossed Up.
Another new law requires new Colorado residents who don’t register their vehicles within 90 days to pay back taxes and other fees.
Manufacturers of power wheelchairs must supply wheelchair owners and independent repair shops with parts, tools, and documentation so they can repair wheelchairs at a lower cost.
Portions of Colorado’s 2022 fentanyl bill also go into effect on Jan. 1, including a provision requiring county jails to develop a policy that will help inmates with medication-assisted treatment after they leave jail.
In all, some 20 new state laws took effect on Sunday.