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Archives Interim 1999 Sunset Review

COLORADO'S SUNSET REVIEW PROCESS




State Board of Accountancy

 

Twelve entities and functions of Colorado government are scheduled to terminate on July 1, 2000. Under the Colorado sunset review process, these entities and functions will be reviewed by the standing committees of the House in the coming months. This document provides: 

a description of the sunset review process;

a list of entities and functions to be reviewed; 

the criteria to be considered in the extension of an entity or function of Colorado government; and

the options that a standing committee of the House has in making recommendations to the General Assembly after conducting its sunset hearings. 

Sunset Process Allows General Assembly to Review Regulatory Functions

Generally, a sunset law is a law that automatically terminates a state regulatory agency, board, or function of government on a certain date. A state legislature must act to continue the entity or function by passing a bill. Sunset laws cause legislatures to periodically review the need for state regulation or for advisory committees and to update the law creating the entity or function. These reviews seek to balance the need for regulation to protect the public interest with the need to ensure that state agencies, industry and the professions, and functions of government are not over-regulated. Across the country, state legislatures have viewed sunset laws as a means of eliminating unnecessary regulatory state agencies through periodic assessments, reducing the proliferation of rules and regulations, and forcing increased accountability of executive agencies.

In Colorado, the task of conducting sunset reviews is assigned to standing committees (committees of reference) of the General Assembly. Standing committees of the House will conduct the sunset reviews for the entities and functions scheduled to terminate in 2000. (House standing committees conduct sunset reviews for entities with sunset dates in even-numbered years; Senate standing committees conduct sunset reviews for entities with sunset dates in odd-numbered years.) 

State Board of Barbers
and Cosmetologists

 

 


Collection Agency Board

 

 


Licensing of Debt Management

 

 


Licensing of Pet Animal Care Facilities

 

 


Registration of Audiologists and
Hearing Aid Dealers

 

 


Domestic Violence Intervention Program

 

 


Magnet School Planning Board

 

 


River Outfitters Advisory Committee

 

 

Home Health Services Pilot Program
Advisory Committee

 

 

Quality of Care Advisory Committee

 

 

Pet Animal Advisory Committe

 

 

 

 

Twelve Entities and Functions Are Scheduled to Terminate in 2000

 

Seven agencies and functions of government are scheduled to terminate on July 1, 2000. In addition, five advisory committees are scheduled to terminate on July 1, 2000. Thus, 12 entities and functions of state government will be the subject of sunset reviews prior to their termination dates. These entities and functions of government are listed below.

 

2000 Sunset Reviews of Agencies and Functions of Government

  • State Board of Accountancy
  • State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
  • Collection Agency Board
  • Licensing of Debt Management
  • Licensing of Pet Animal Care Facilities
  • Registration of Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dealers
  • Domestic Violence Intervention Program

 

2000 Sunset Reviews of Advisory Committees
  • Magnet School Planning Board
  • River Outfitters Advisory Committee
  • Home Health Services Pilot Program Advisory Committee
  • Quality of Care Advisory Committee
  • Pet Animal Advisory Committe

 

 

Executive Branch Conducts Initial Review of Entities and Functions

 

A department within the executive branch of state government conducts a study of the entity or government function prior to the legislative sunset hearings. The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) will produce a "sunset report" by October 15, 1999 for each of the 12 entities and functions scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2000. This sunset report describes the history of the entity, examines the laws which created the entity, and makes recommendations regarding changes to the law and continuation of the entity.

 

 

General Assembly Conducts Public Reviews of the Regulatory Functions

 

The Speaker of the House will assign the twelve sunset reviews to the various House standing committees. These assignments will most likely occur in October or November, 1999. In conducting a sunset review, the standing committee reviews recommendations from the Department of Regulatory Agencies concerning continuation of the entity or function of government in question. The review is conducted at a public hearing which will likely occur in November or December. The committee also takes testimony from interested members of the public and any involved program administrators. The recommendations of the standing committees will be reviewed again when the General Assembly convenes in January. That is, committees of reference of the General Assembly will hear any bills resulting from the sunset review process.

 

 

Evaluation and Review of Entities and Functions Is Based on Statutory Criteria

 

Each entity and function scheduled for termination has the burden of demonstrating that a public need exists for its continued existence and that its regulation is the least restrictive regulation consistent with the public interest. The determination as to whether a public need exists for the entity or function of government, and for the degree of regulation it practices, is based on the following factors, among others:

  1. Whether regulation by the agency is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare; whether the conditions which led to the initial regulation have changed; and whether other conditions have arisen which would warrant more, less, or the same degree of regulation;
  2. If regulation is necessary, whether the existing statutes and regulations establish the least restrictive form of regulation consistent with the public interest, considering other available regulatory mechanisms, and whether agency rules enhance the public interest and are within the scope of legislative intent;
  3. Whether the agency operates in the public interest and whether its operation is impeded or enhanced by existing statutes, rules, procedures, and practices and any other circumstances, including budgetary, resource, and personnel matters;
  4. Whether an analysis of agency operations indicates that the agency performs its statutory duties efficiently and effectively;
  5. Whether the composition of the agency's board or commission adequately represents the public interest and whether the agency encourages public participation in its decisions rather than participation only by the people it regulates;
  6. The economic impact of regulation and, if national economic information is not available, whether the agency stimulates or restricts competition;
  7. Whether complaint, investigation, and disciplinary procedures adequately protect the public and whether final dispositions of complaints are in the public interest or self-serving to the profession;
  8. Whether the scope of practice of the regulated occupation contributes to the optimum utilization of personnel and whether entry requirements encourage affirmative action; and
  9. Whether administrative and statutory changes are necessary to improve agency operations to enhance the public interest.

 

 

Standing Committee Has Several Options for Recommendations

 

A standing committee may recommend that an entity or function of government be continued or terminated. If the assigned committee of reference believes that an entity or function should be continued, it recommends a bill to the full General Assembly to accomplish this. In addition to continuing the existence of the entity, the bill may also make adjustments to the area of the law establishing the entity. With the exception of advisory committees, entities and functions of government may be continued for any time period up to 15 years. Thus, the six entities and functions of government currently under consideration may be continued for up to 15 years. There is no similar limitation on advisory committees. State law does not limit the amount of time for which an existing advisory committee may be recreated. Generally, after conducting a sunset review of an existing advisory committee and recreating the committee, the General Assembly has not placed time limits on the life of the committee.

A standing committee recommends termination of an entity or function simply by not proposing legislation for its continuation. In the event that the General Assembly allows an entity or function of state government to terminate, the entity or function continues to exist for the next succeeding year for the purpose of "winding up affairs."

 

 

Sunset Bills Follow Procedures for Other Bills During Legislative Session

 

Any bills recommended at sunset hearings by committees of reference will be introduced in the House at the 2000 session and proceed through the normal legislative process. The Speaker of the House will assign the bills to the same committee that conducted the sunset hearing in late 1999. The House committees of reference will hold public hearings on the bills and may amend, kill, or pass a bill on to the full House. Following the committee of reference hearing, the bill will be considered on second and third reading in the House.

If the bill survives hearings in the House of Representatives, the process is repeated in the Senate. After passing out of both the Senate and the House of Representatives the bill is then sent to the Governor for action. The Governor may sign the bill into law, veto the bill, or permit the bill to become law without a signature.

 

 

Accessing Sunset Reports

 

Executive Summaries of the Sunset reports are now available and may be picked up in Room 007 of the State Capitol Building.


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