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Roberts’ small business bills, driven by Vail-area input, signed into law by Polis

July 16, 2020, 10:46 am

Colorado House Democrats on Thursday issued the following press release about a pair of bills sponsored by state Rep. Dylan Roberts aimed at easing the ongoing economic turmoil from the COVID-19 pandemic:

State Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle
State Rep. Dylan Roberts

Last week, Governor Jared Polis signed into law two pro-business bills introduced by Rep. Dylan Roberts (HD26 – Eagle & Routt Counties). Both bills were based on ideas directly from constituents in Eagle County.

SB20-126 introduced by Rep. Dylan Roberts (D), Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R), Sen. Tammy Story (D) and Sen. Jim Smallwood (R) passed the legislature in June. With the Governor’s signature last week this new law says that homeowner associations cannot prohibit home child care businesses within their community without cause. Previous to this law, an HOA could prohibit these crucial businesses without having to justify a cause. SB126 prohibits that practice and will allow homeowners to open home child care businesses so long as they comply with all state and local licensing, safety, and community requirements.

Back in November 2019, Heather McMahon of Eagle contacted Rep. Roberts because she was going to be unable to continue her home childcare business when she moved to a new home within an HOA. Working with Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney and other child care advocates from across the state, Rep. Roberts and Ms. McMahon crafted this legislation to remove that prohibition. “I am thrilled that SB126 has been signed into law so that I and so many others can operate our small businesses and ensure that crucial child care spots are open to our community,” said Heather McMahon

“We all know that child care spots are expensive and extremely limited in our community,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts. “When I heard about this unnecessary regulation preventing more child care businesses from opening, I knew we had to make a change. I am excited that we were able to introduce this bill, get it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, and signed into law.”

SB20-213 was also signed into law last week which means that the ability for bars and restaurants to sell delivery and to-go alcohol with their food orders will continue until July 2021. The ability for restaurants to sell drinks along with their takeout food was given through a temporary executive order by Governor Polis in March at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, over 90% of Colorado restaurants have utilized this new ability to generate revenue with many citing it at the sole reason they were able to keep their doors open.[1]

“The restaurant and service industry has been hit harder by the pandemic than almost any other industry in our state, especially here in our mountain communities,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts “Having the flexibility to sell alcohol for delivery and to-go has been a lifesaver for many restaurants here in Eagle County and across the state – for many, it was the sole reason they were able to stay in business. I am thankful that the Governor signed my bill into law because this will provide restaurants new flexibility and revenue as we continue through these turbulent times.”

“The impacts of COVID-19 were devastating for businesses across industry sector, and especially so for restaurants and hospitality,” said Chris Romer, President & CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership. “I have heard from numerous restaurants that to-go and delivery alcohol sales has helped them weather the uncertainty and challenges. We offer our kudos and thanks to the legislature and sponsors for moving this through quickly to help the restaurant industry.”

While SB20-213 extends the ability for restaurants to expand their drink sales until July 1, 2021, Rep. Roberts believes that as we follow the progress of this new law over the coming year that there will be an effort at the legislature next year to extend it much longer, if not permanently.

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