New Colorado laws: Insurance coverage for fertility treatment, streamline powerline trail development, among others

Health insurance coverage for fertility treatment, donation limits to school board candidates and preserving the vote of people whose homes are destroyed are all law after receiving Gov. Jared Polis’ signature Wednesday.

He also signed a bill allowing bikes to treat stop signs like yield signs and stop lights like stop signs and encourage powerline trails.

Here’s what these news laws will do:

Colorado bikes can roll through intersections

House bill 22-1028 allows bicyclists to keep rolling at stop signs and not wait for the greenlight to cross through intersections — a practice many already follow, so they can keep their mobility in case of danger, supporters said at the bill signing.

“Making bicycling an easy and accessible choice for everyone across the state is really important,” Sen. Faith Winter, D-W,estminster said. “So let’s bike more and this makes it safer and easier.”

It also makes the rule consistent across the state, Gov. Jared Polis said at the bill signing, his desk flanked by bikes.

The bills was sponsored by Winter and Sen. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, and Reps. Matt Gray (D-Broomfield) and Edie Hooton (D-Boulder).

Trails now part of powerline development talks

House bill 22-1014 aims to streamline turning transmission line clearings into trails for bikes and pedestrians. In short, when a company applies for a new transmission line or expansion, the local government is notified in case the entities want to discuss it, sponsor Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, D-Fort Collins, said.

“I think anything we can do to spur outdoor recreation, maybe get a few cars off the road in the meantime, make sure that we’re bringing tourism and recreation to other parts of our state is just great,” Boesenecker said at the bill signing.

The bill was sponsored by Boesenecker and Sens. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Kevin Priola (R-Henderson).

Contribution Limits School District Director Candidate

People running for school board in Colorado will now face limits on how much money they can raise. Under House bill 22-1060, they won’t be able to raise more than $2,500 from an individual or $25,000 from a small donor committee.

Spending on those races has rocketed in recent years, according to an analysis by the Colorado Sun. This brings it in line with restrictions on fundraising by legislators and other candidates.

“The people of Colorado want to make sure that candidates for office work for them and not special interests,” Polis said. “And that’s really hard when there’s somebody who gets $50,000 or $100,000 from donations from one corporation or one person.”

The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Emily Sirota and Sen. Julie Gonzales, both Denver Democrats. Gonzales said they heard from people across the political spectrum about reining in spending on races for the volunteer positions.

“We’re ensuring integrity in our school board elections” with this law, Gonzales said.

Insurance plans will need to cover fertility treatment.

House bill 22-1008 implements a law passed in the 2020 legislative session to require large employer health insurance plans to begin covering medically necessary fertility coverage. The coverage must be offered beginning 2023.

“Today is a day that we’ve been waiting for for years now,” Rep. Kerry Tipper, D-Lakewood, said. “I’m emotional just thinking about what this means for so many families across the state of Colorado.”

Because the procedures are still fairly rare, states with similar laws haven’t seen resulting increases to costs, Rep. Matt Soper, R-Delta County, said. More importantly, it’s about supporting families that want future Coloradans, he said.

“These are Coloradans who are fighting for life, fighting to create families,” Soper said.

The bill was sponsored by Soper, Tipper, and Sens. Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) and Faith Winter (D-Westminster).

Residence Of Voter Whose Home Is Destroyed

Senate bill 22-152 allows voters who lose their homes to a disaster, natural or otherwise, to continue to use that address for their voter registration if they intend to return to the address.

When a community is rebuilding, much of the decisions about the process end up happening at the ballot box, Senate President and bill sponsor Steve Fenberg, a Democrat whose district includes the Marshall fire burn area, said.

“Even when you are in the midst of a horrible disaster, we want to make sure you are able to exercise your right to vote and have your voice heard, largely in how to shape the rebuilding of your community,” Fenberg said at the bill signing. “Because that is a lot of ways a community discussion that happens at the ballot box.”

Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, D-Longmont, said she knows one constituent who has moved four times since the fire destroyed her home at the end of the year.

“We’re so hoping this simple act, this important act, will help folks at least take one burden off of everything else they’re dealing with,” Jaquez Lewis said.

The bill was sponsored by Fenberg and Jaquez Lewis, and Reps. Matt Gray (D-Broomfield) and Tracey Bernett (D-Niwot).

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