Editor's note: This story lhas been updated to correct the date on which Gov. Hickenlooper signed the bills.
Gov. John Hickenlooper visited Colorado Springs on May 11 to sign three bills into law. They included an extension of a veterans’ career program, a bill to streamline community corrections transition placements, and penalties for retailers selling products with dextromethorphan (such as DayQuil) to children under 18.
Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, was the sponsor on all three bills. Another local legislator, Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, co-sponsored the veterans’ career program bill.
Here’s a rundown:
• HB18-1343: Veterans' Service-to-career Program
Sponsors: Pete Lee, Terri Carver, Kent Lambert, Nancy Todd
This bill continues a statewide program to help veterans, their spouses, and qualified dependents and caregivers find employment. It expands the program to include those actively serving in the military who are within six months of discharge.
• HB18-1251: Community Corrections Transition Placements
Sponsors: Pete Lee, Cole Wist, Daniel Kagan, Bob Gardner
The community corrections system in Colorado provides services to convicted adults who are “halfway in” or “halfway out” of prison. Community corrections, which includes housing and supervision, is either a “last chance” before being sent to prison, or a way for those leaving the criminal justice system to transition back into the community.
This bill requires the Colorado State Board of Parole to submit a list of offenders for community corrections transition placement referrals to the state Department of Corrections, who will choose whether or not to make a referral. Community corrections boards, which then decide whether to accept or reject an offender, must do so through a “structured, research-based decision-making process that combines professional judgment and actuarial risk and needs assessment tools,” according to the bill.
• HB18-1307: Limit Access To Products With Dextromethorphan
Sponsors: Jonathan Singer, Pete Lee, Bob Gardner, John Cooke
This bill makes it illegal for a seller, retailer or vendor to sell products containing dextromethorphan — a drug found in such over-the-counter cough suppressants as DayQuil and Robitussin — to children under 18. For the first offense, the seller will receive a written warning; future offenses mean a fine of up to $200.
Dextromethorphan can cause fatal liver injury and cardiovascular problems if consumed in high doses. It has been used as a recreational drug, particularly among teenagers, for its hallucinogenic and dissociative effects at high doses.