Governor Polis Signs Bills to Protect Colorado Water, Strengthen Colorado’s Rural Economy and Workforce, Support Mountain Rail, and Create Access to More Affordable Healthcare

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* HB24 ~ Governor Jared Polis made his way through Summit County and the Yampa Valley today, signing several bills into law in ceremonies across the region. The focus of these new laws is to protect Colorado's water resources, a vital aspect of the state's agriculture, economy, and way of life.

In Silverthorne, Governor Polis signed two bills aimed at regulating dredge and fill activities in state waters and supporting projects by the Colorado Water Conservation Board. These bills were sponsored by Representatives Julie McCluskie and Karen McCormick, as well as Senators Dylan Roberts and Barbara Kirkmeyer.

"Water is life in Colorado and today I was proud to protect our water resources that are essential for our agriculture, our economy, and our way of life," said Governor Polis.

The next stop on the Governor's agenda was Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs. Here, he signed two more bills - SB24-197 which focuses on water conservation measures and HB24-1362 which incentivizes the use of graywater. These bills were sponsored by Representatives Julie McCluskie and Marc Catlin, as well as Senators Dylan Roberts and Perry Will.

Later in the day, Governor Polis traveled to Hayden where he signed legislation that will drive economic development in rural communities and increase access to child care. The first bill he signed was HB24-1001 which reauthorizes the Rural Jump-Start Program. This program has been successful in helping businesses grow in rural areas of Colorado. The second bill was HB24-1237 which aims to create more child care facilities in these communities. These bills were sponsored by Representatives Megan Lukens, Rick Taggart, Mary Bradfield, Meghan Lukens, as well as Senators Dylan Roberts, Cleave Simpson, Janice Marchman, and Janice Rich.

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"We are proud to build on the success of Rural Jump-Start and help even more businesses plant roots and grow in our incredible rural communities. This effort drives economic development and creates new jobs across our state," said Governor Polis.

He continued, "I'm proud to break down barriers to access for childcare, helping more families get the needed support to be able to raise their kids and work."

In Craig, Governor Polis signed SB24-190 which focuses on rail and coal transition community economic measures. This bill was sponsored by Representatives Megan Lukens and Julie McCluskie, as well as Senator Dylan Roberts. The aim of this law is to make mountain passenger rail a reality while supporting a just transition and creating more economic opportunities for workers in communities like Craig.

"This law will help make mountain passenger rail a reality while supporting a just transition and creating more economic opportunities for workers in communities like Craig," said Governor Polis.

The final stop on the Governor's tour was Frisco where he signed two bills - SB24-168 which focuses on remote monitoring services for Medicaid members and HB24-1219 which strengthens benefits for first responders. These bills were sponsored by Senators Dylan Roberts, Cleave Simpson, Byron Pelton, Kyle Mullica, as well as Representatives Julie McCluskie, Mike Lynch, and Matthew Martinez.

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"Part of reducing healthcare costs means increasing access and that's what this law does. Telehealth is an important tool for Coloradans across the state to get the care they need, but especially in our rural communities," said Governor Polis.

"Our first responders help protect Coloradans and communities across our great state year round and this bill is about returning the favor by strengthening benefits for our firefighters," he added.

Governor Polis' actions today demonstrate his commitment to protecting Colorado's water resources, driving economic development in rural areas, increasing access to child care, and supporting first responders. These new laws will have a positive impact on the state's economy and its citizens' quality of life.

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