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116 new laws take effect today

Plumbing, paint, school safety, lottery tickets among them

DENVER – Home improvements will eventually cost more with two new Colorado laws.

One law will add a fee to household paint beginning next year to fund safer paint disposal programs. The other will ban new plumbing devices that aren’t water-efficient beginning in September 2016.

They are among 116 bills the Colorado Legislature passed this year that take effect today.

Republicans staunchly opposed both Democrat-sponsored bills and railed for hours against the proposals before they passed. Each of the bills got only one Republican vote.

With the paint fee, which is expected to be less than $1 per gallon, Colorado became the eighth state to require manufacturers to develop recycling or take-back programs.

Democrats argued the legislation would help municipalities because leftover paint is currently handled locally by government-run household hazardous waste programs, with funding that varies by county.

The plumbing-fixture law will make it illegal to sell faucets, showerheads and toilets that aren’t certified by the federal government as efficient “WaterSense” fixtures. Supporters of the law say it will help conserve water in a drought-plagued state.

The measure does not require anyone to change existing plumbing.

Other new legislation imposes penalties on the sale and distribution of designer drugs, like synthetic marijuana. And businesses will get a tax credit on personal property, such as computers and furniture.

Another law will require real-estate sellers to inform buyers if the property they’re purchasing includes a separate mineral estate that belongs to an energy developer.

Lawmakers also reorganized a school-safety hotline called Safe2Tell to be under the Department of Law, so the program has consistent funding.

“Students are often the first to hear threats against a school or to see bullying or drug use, so they play a critical role in preventing these problems,” said Democratic Senate President Morgan Carroll.

Other new laws include:

Barring the sale of lottery tickets online until at least July 1, 2017. Legislation sponsor Rep. Brian DelGrosso, the top-ranking Republican in the House, said selling the tickets online hurts small businesses “and creates a risk that underage people could access online lottery tickets in our state.”

Connecting vehicle-registration numbers to the specialty license plates that legislators use to ensure they are getting photo traffic tickets.

Establishing locations around the state where people can give remote testimony to lawmakers when they consider bills. At least one remote location will be in the Western Slope.

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