Governor Polis Signing Bills Into Law
DENVER — Today, Gov. Polis is signing bipartisan legislation to help the Colorado workforce, to create transformational change in the behavioral health system and comprehensive and bipartisan legislation to reduce fentanyl deaths and get dealers off the streets and fentanyl out of Colorado communities.
This afternoon on the west steps of the state capitol, Governor Polis will join Speaker Alec Garnett, Senator Brittany Pettersen, Senator John Cooke, members of law enforcement, District Attorney’s and friends and family members of Coloradans who have lost loved ones to fentanyl to sign HB22-1326 Fentanyl Accountability And Prevention.
“Making Colorado one of the ten safest states in the next five years is one of my top priorities and this new bipartisan law is part of what we need to do to make Colorado safer and help save lives,” said Governor Polis. “The crime we are seeing in Denver and elsewhere is unacceptable, we have heard far too many excuses and scapegoating. This bipartisan legislation and our public safety investments are major steps towards making Colorado one of the ten safest states. The legislature sent strong bills to my desk in line with my budget and stepped up to invest more than the state has ever invested before in resources for local law enforcement, more and better policing, community interventions, youth violence prevention and brought more investigative power because this moment calls for leadership. I thank Speaker Alec Garnett for his dedicated leadership because every life is worth fighting for.”
This new law, along with the nearly $200 million in new dollars the Governor in partnership with the legislature is investing in public safety, gives local communities the tools they need to step up to make Colorado communities safer. This bill gives local law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to crack down, with greater penalties for dealers and those who contaminate other drugs with fentanyl and is a comprehensive solution that couples stiffer penalties with evidence-based harm reduction strategies to help those suffering from addiction get the help they need before a tragedy occurs.
Earlier in the afternoon, Governor Polis joined by Patty Salazar, Executive Director for the Dept. of Regulatory Affairs as he signed bipartisan legislation creating opportunities for more Coloradans to get good jobs and help communities thrive and improving government efficiency by streamlining efforts the administration can provide better services to Coloradans. HB22-1291 Sunrise Review Professions Occupations sponsored by Representative Mike Weissman of Aurora, Senator Joann Ginal of Fort Collins, HB22-1098 Department Of Regulatory Agencies Barriers To Practice Regulated Professions sponsored by Representatives Shannon Bird and Jennifer. Bacon and Senators Larry. Liston and James. Coleman and SB22-174 Sunset Review Hearing Criteria sponsored by Representative Chris. Kennedy and Senator Janet Buckner
Also this afternoon in the West Foyer of the state capitol, Gov. Polis signed bills into law putting people first in Colorado’s behavioral health system and will be joined by Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera, Commissioner Dr. Morgan Medlock of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), cabinet members and bill sponsors. The Governor will signed HB22-1278 creating the Behavioral Health Administration which is sponsored by Representatives Mary Young and Rod Pelton, Senators Pete Lee and Cleave Simpson. Since day one of the Polis-Primavera Administration, it has been a top priority to streamline Colorado’s behavioral health system to ensure all Coloradans can access coordinated, integrated, high quality behavioral healthcare services. The Administration launched the behavioral and mental health task force in 2019 during the Governor’s first year in office knowing Colorado needed to do better and the pandemic both exacerbated the need for behavioral healthcare and laid bare the gaps and failures of our behavioral health system. This new bipartisan law enables the establishment of the Behavioral Health Administration which will streamline and coordinate the way Colorado delivers care, make it accessible across the state, and address the gaps in our current system. The BHA will break down barriers and make care accessible to everyone and help people get the care they need, when and where they need it.
The Governor signed the bipartisan SB22-177 Investments In Care Coordination Infrastructure - Representatives Brianna Titone Mary Bradfield, Senators Brittany Pettersen and Bob Rankin which is a product of the Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force and will make substantial improvements and investments in Colorado coordinate care and services for people seeking behavioral healthcare.