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Colorado Edition: New Year, New Laws, New Resolutions

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

Today on Colorado Edition: we'll look at the new laws going into effect here in Colorado now that 2020 has begun. Plus, we'll get some tips on sticking to New Year's resolutions, and we will hear about a woman who overcame addiction through running. 

New Year, New Laws

Credit Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage
Capitol Coverage

With a new year, there are some new laws in effect here in Colorado. 

Some of those include a law that will give people more options to consume cannabis in public, one that will strengthen penalties for cases of wage theft by employers, and another that aims to protect hospital patients from unexpected medical bills.  

Lawmakers heard many stories in the past year about Coloradans who went to a hospital they thought was in their insurance network, only to be hit with a bill for services that were not covered. The new law aims to fix this problem by requiring hospitals to let patients know when there might be an out-of-network doctor or specialist providing the care. It also limits charges for out-of-network physicians. Health care providers who do not follow the new rules will face fines.  

Also in effect today is the new minimum wage rule, which is already motivating some cities like Denver to raise their wages above the state level. 

And one of the most controversial laws that starts today, is Colorado’s extreme risk protection order or "red flag" law.  

It allows family or law enforcement agencies to remove a person’s firearms if a judge finds them to be a risk to themselves or others. But some of those tasked with taking away the guns don’t feel prepared for what’s to come. 

Alycin Bektesh reports on what's next.

And while Colorado is just embarking on its "red flag" law, it’s been nearly two years since a similar law took effect in Oregon.  

Jonathan Levinson with our reporting partners at Guns and America looks at how the law has worked there.

State Park Camping Reservations

Credit Patty Hedrick / Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Summer RV camping at Highline Lake

In addition to new laws, the new year also brings some new rules around our state. And one of those has to do with camping at state parks.

Beginning today, all state parks in Colorado will require camping reservations. You can reserve a site up to six months in advance, or even the moment you get to a campsite. Reservations can be made by phone or online. Travis Duncan from Colorado Parks and Wildlife joined us to explain why the state made the change. 

New Resolutions

And, of course, with the start of the new year, also come new year’s resolutions. Today is the day many of us make plans or set goals for the year ahead, or maybe even the decade.  

But new year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to stick to.  Megan Babkes Stellino, a sports and exercise professor at the University of Northern Colorado, gave KUNC’s Kyra Buckley some tips for resolutions at the end of 2018.  

How Running Helped One Woman Overcome Addiction

And to help give you that push you might need to tackle all your goals in the year ahead, we wanted to bring you an interview today that we found inspiring — one about addiction, recovery and running.

Catra Corbett is the first American woman to run 100 miles or more over 100 times, and she’s also a former addict.  

A book she co-authored with Colorado-based journalist Dan England details how running helped her on her path to discovery. It’s called Reborn on the Run: My Journey from Addiction to Ultramarathons

We spoke with Dan to hear more about Catra’s story, and what we can learn from it. 

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • “Inessential” by Bayou Birds
  • “Open Flames” by Aeronaut
  • "Faster Faster Brighter” by Ray Catcher

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.
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