Wednesday, Governor Bill Ritter signed into law a measure that strengthens protections against spammers and another that supports the 9Health Fair, which has provided low-cost health care tests and screenings for Coloradans for 25 years.

House Bill 1178 makes a violation of the federal CAN-SPAM Act a deceptive trade practice, and invokes the Attorney General's enforcement authority and other available remedies under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.

"Spam now constitutes approximately 90 percent of all e-mail server traffic and costs U.S. businesses and consumers billions of dollars annually in lost productivity and virus protection software," Governor Ritter said. "Spam and junk mail are much more than inconveniences. They cause server crashes. They help spread viruses and can facilitate e-mail fraud and identify theft."

"Four months ago, we declared war on spam. Today we say mission accomplished," said Rep. Sara Gagliardi, a co-sponsor of the bill.

"We all feel the price of spam -- it costs us time, it costs us money, and most importantly, it costs us our privacy," said sponsor Rep. Morgan Carroll.

Senate Bill 16 creates a new income tax check-off as a funding mechanism for the 9Health Fair Fund to provide money for free and low-cost health screening and education through volunteer-run, community-initiated programs.

"The 9Health Fair has provided accessible, affordable health care screenings and information to Coloradans for 25 years," said Governor Ritter. "SB 16 will help health care consumers make better choices, which makes for a healthier Colorado for all of us."

"For thousands of Coloradans, the only contact they have with a doctor or nurse over the course of a year is at the 9Health Fair," said Rep. Debbie Benefield. "Without the 9Health Fair, thousands of potentially serious health issues would go undetected and untreated."

"The 9Health Fair fills a health-care void for many people who are uninsured or underinsured," said Sen. Nancy Spence. "It's great to see this bill signed into law as it represents one of the incremental steps Colorado can take to reach out to people without adequate health insurance."