The most consequential bills Colorado lawmakers passed in 2021

·2 min read

Colorado's 73rd General Assembly officially wrapped up this week, and a lot went down — including Republicans tearing into each other in the final hours over yet another session that left them largely empty-handed of legislative wins.

Here are a few highlights on some of the most consequential policies our (mostly Democratic) lawmakers passed:

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  • Gun control (HB21-1298, HB21-1299 and SB21-256): The trio of legislation, which comes in response to the mass shooting this year at a Boulder grocery store, would expand firearm background checks, create a dedicated office for gun violence prevention and allow municipalities to have even stricter gun laws than the state.

  • Health insurance (HB21-1232): This bill would establish a state health insurance plan that would reduce premium costs from 2021 rates by 15% in three years.

  • Racial justice (SB21-280): Would make it easier to prosecute hate crimes when racial bias is a clear driver of a crime, even if not the whole motivation.

  • Tenant protections (SB21-173): Renters in Colorado would be given a week-long grace period before landlords can charge late fees, and landlords would be limited on how much they can charge for an overdue payment.

  • Transportation (SB21-260): A $5.4 billion plan to expand overcrowded interstates, repair rural roads and invest in public transit.

  • Environment (HB21-1162 and HB21-1266): The former bill would ban plastic foam and require fees for plastic and paper bags, while the latter would require emissions reductions among major industries, including oil and gas.

  • Marijuana (HB21-1317): This bipartisan bill will impose restrictions on the marijuana industry and limit teenagers' access to high-potency THC products, including wax.

What to watch: The legislation now all heads to the governor's desk and awaits his signature.

Of note: For a quick look at some of the biggest bills that didn't make the cut this session, check out Denver7's rundown.

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