Check out the state’s new laws

Laws in­clude pay raises for state and county of­fi­cials that be­gin in 2019.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Joey Bunch Joey Bunch: 303- 954- 1174, jbunch@den­ver­ or @joey­bunch

A fu­ture pay raise for state and county of­fi­cials and more over­sight for child- wel­fare in­ves­ti­ga­tions are among five Colorado laws that took ef­fect with the new year. The state’s min­i­mum wage got an im­me­di­ate boost.

In one of the last bills to pass in the 2015 leg­isla­tive ses­sion, the Gen­eral As­sem­bly in­creased salaries be­gin­ning in 2019.

The salary in­creases for law­mak­ers and the gov­er­nor, lieu­tenant gov­er­nor, at­tor­ney gen­eral, sec­re­tary of state and trea­surer are tied to a per­cent­age of what­ever the chief jus­tice of the state Supreme Court and county court judges are paid in 2019.

If the for­mula was in ef­fect in 2015, Gov. John Hick­en­looper would have been paid $ 116,687 a year in­stead of $ 90,000; At­tor­ney Gen­eral Cyn­thia Coff­man would have got­ten $ 101,998 in­stead of $ 80,000; and the other state elected of­fi­cers would have made $ 88,430 in­stead of $ 68,500.

Leg­is­la­tors’ pay would have been $ 38,117 in­stead of $ 30,000 a year.

Se­nate Bill 288 also in­cluded pay in­creases for county of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing clerk and recorder and sher­iff, based on the size of a county and other fac­tors.

Two child- wel­fare mea­sures went into ef­fect. One in­creases over­sight and shifts fund­ing for child and fam­ily in­ves­ti­ga­tors, adding $ 27,580 for the state ju­di­cial sys­tem, $ 12,500 for trial court pro­grams and $ 131,419 for court costs, jury costs and court- ap­pointed lawyers.

The law cuts $ 143,919 that had been des­ig­nated for court- ap­pointed lawyers used by the Of­fice of the Child’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

An­other new law re­quires any child miss­ing from foster care or other out- of- home place­ment to be re­ported to law en­force­ment within 24 hours, so that the dis­ap­pear­ance can be for­warded to the Na­tional Cen­ter for Miss­ing and Ex­ploited Chil­dren, the FBI and other au­thor­i­ties.

Two trans­porta­tion- re­lated mea­sures also went into ef­fect, one mod­i­fy­ing a spe­cial fuel ex­cise tax and an­other adopt­ing stan­dards to make tem­po­rary ve­hi­cle per­mits more read­able.

Separately, Colorado’s min­i­mum wage au­to­mat­i­cally in­creases with the newyear from$ 8.23 per hour to $ 8.31 per hour. The min­i­mumwage for tipped employees will in­crease from $ 5.21 to $ 5.29 per hour.

The state Con­sti­tu­tion man­dates that the min­i­mum wage rates be au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justed for in­fla­tion each year.

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