DORA releases 2016 sunset and sunrise reviews
Reports recommend eliminating prohibition on Sunday sales of motor vehicles, strengthening consumer protections, and streamlining regulatory programs
DENVER - (Oct. 17, 2016) - The Colorado Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform (COPRRR), part of the Office of the Executive Director at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), celebrates the 40th anniversary of the sunset review process with the release today of the Office’s 2016 sunset and sunrise reports. The reports have been sent to the Colorado General Assembly and are now available online on dora.colorado.gov/opr.
During a review, COPRRR analysts conduct a comprehensive study of the program and then produce a report with recommendations to the Colorado General Assembly. A sunset review examines existing regulatory programs to enhance consumer protection and streamline regulation, while a sunrise review explores whether there is a need to regulate a currently unregulated profession or occupation. This year, COPRRR conducted 25 sunset and sunrise reviews throughout state government including programs and boards within DORA, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and Office of the Secretary of State, and other state departments, such as Law, Public Safety, Transportation, and Revenue. Highlights include:
Eliminating Prohibition on Sunday Sales of Motor Vehicles: Prohibitions of the sale of motor vehicles on Sundays, commonly referred to as “Blue Laws,” have already been eliminated by 34 states. COPRRR has concluded that Colorado should do so as well, which will remove the unnecessary governmental barrier for businesses to operate on any day they wish to sell motor vehicles to consumers.
Strengthening Consumer Protections from Debt Collectors: By broadening the definition of “debt” to have greater applicability, more consumers will benefit from the protections afforded by the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
More Robust Regulation of Preneed Funeral Contracts: Over the last 10 years, the Division of Insurance has uncovered several cases in which pre-need funeral contract sellers have failed to trust over $2 million. To address this problem, COPRRR has recommended, among other things, that the state create a “preneed recovery fund.”
Streamlining Regulation of Landscape Architects: The sunset review recommends sunsetting the State Board of Landscape Architects, in which there will be an associated cost savings, but continuing to license the practice.
Regulating Process Servers: The primary job of a Process Server is to deliver legal documents, or “serve,” a person involved in a court case. COPRRR determined it is the citizen’s interest for Process Servers to be required to pass a fingerprint-based criminal history background check and pass a jurisprudence examination.
The Colorado General Assembly created the sunset process in 1976 as a way to improve state regulation by streamlining existing programs, enhancing consumer protection and repealing unnecessary programs and functions of government. Since that time, Colorado’s sunset process has gained national recognition and is routinely highlighted as a best practice as states seek to create more efficient and effective regulation.
“Regulations provide important protections for consumers and businesses as they help set the ground rules and combat fraud,” said DORA Executive Director Joe Neguse. “Colorado has a history of keeping regulations streamlined and the decision-making processes behind them efficient and transparent because of these annual reviews, which are important components to developing a strong economic environment. Our goal is to improve access for the public to get more engaged in the regulatory decisions that are made.”
“In conducting these reviews, we strive to be inclusive and engage as many consumers, businesses and other stakeholders into the discussion as possible,” said Bruce Harrelson, COPRRR Director at DORA.
The following summarizes COPRRR’s 2016 recommendations. The complete sunset and sunrise reports are available online at dora.colorado/opr.
Regulation of bingo and games of chance assures that charitable games are conducted fairly and protects charitable organizations from potential fraud, and, among several recommendations, the sunset review recommends the state continue to regulate them.
The regulation of bail bonding agents protects consumers by ensuring fees are not excessive and the bond is paid if a defendant fails to appear at court. The sunset review recommends continued regulation in addition to two other recommendations.
The licensing of collection agencies provides financial protections for clients of collection agencies, and, in addition to several other recommendations, the sunset review recommends the State of Colorado continue to regulate them.
Regulation of boxing protects the health and safety of boxing participants, and it also protects participants and promoters from financial losses and provides assurance to the public that boxing events are legitimate and fair so the State of Colorado should continue regulation, along with additional recommendations.
Regulation of the insurance industry is necessary to protect consumers and businesses from devastating financial losses, and the sunset review recommended that the Division of Insurance be continued. The report also includes several other recommendations.
Regulation ensures that landscape architects have demonstrated competency by successfully completing appropriate education and work experience and by passing an examination. The sunset review recommended continuing the regulatory program but sunsetting the State Board of Landscape Architects.
The Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB) helps to protect public safety by approving treatment providers and developing and maintaining treatment standards. The sunset review recommends continuing the DVOMB and also includes several other recommendations.
The Motorcycle Operator Safety Training Program was created to promote training and motorcycle safety. In addition to several recommendations, the report recommends continuing this program for five years to monitor its new focus on the quality of the safety training courses offered in Colorado.
Regulation of motor vehicle dealers and powersports vehicles is necessary to protect consumers who purchase motor and powersports vehicles from dealers and salespersons, and as part of several recommendations, concludes that the State of Colorado should continue to regulate them.
The laws that govern naturopathic doctors protect consumers by ensuring that only qualified naturopathic doctors practice in the state, and the State of Colorado should continue to regulate them. The report also includes several other recommendations.
Regulation of real estate brokers ensures that brokers have the minimum qualifications necessary to protect consumers from financial harm from poorly executed real estate transactions. The report also includes several other recommendations.
Speech-language pathologists work with a wide array of patients who suffer from cognitive and communicative disorders. They also work with patients who rely on ventilators and tracheostomy tubes to breath. State certification of speech-language pathologists ensures a minimal level of initial and ongoing competency, and among several recommendations, the State of Colorado should continue to regulate this occupation
The Board of Veterans Affairs plays an important role in improving the provision of essential services to veterans in Colorado, allocating over $1.6 million to support veterans organizations, government agencies and non-profit organizations throughout the state. Their efforts are invaluable, and the board should be continued.
The Board of Commissioners provides insightful and expert recommendations regarding veterans community living centers, and it ensures that residents of veterans community living centers are included in the decision-making process. Therefore, the General Assembly should continue the Board of Commissioners.
The Court Security Cash Fund Commission is an important component in the approval process for awarding grant funds available to improve court security throughout the state, and the sunset review recommends continuing it.
The Education Data Advisory Committee protects local schools and districts from undue data collection. It is critical for the state to streamline and safeguard education data collection and management, and it should be continued.
The Colorado Health Service Corps Advisory Council serves an important role in determining whether health-care professionals are eligible to be reimbursed for education loans through the Colorado Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, a program that was established to attract health-care professionals to areas with a shortage of primary care services. The sunset review recommends continuing it.
Each veterans community living center is required to have a local advisory board, in which concerns from its residents are addressed, and they must annually report to the Director of Veterans Community Living Centers. The local advisory boards are important because they ensure that administrators continue to examine issues related to improving the residents’ quality of life. The General Assembly should continue the authorization of these boards.
The Restorative Justice Coordinating Council is made up of representatives from 19 agencies and practitioners from around the state. This diversity helps to ensure that policies and implementation requirements are practical. The broader functions of the Restorative Justice Council, such as providing technical assistance, education and training assistance and maintaining a central repository of information, are on-going projects, and the council should be continued.
The purpose of the School Safety Resource Center Advisory Board is to provide policy guidance to the School Safety Resource Center. The Resource Center depends on the information and the support provided by board members. The board help staff better understand how to serve schools and communities throughout the state, and it should be continued.
The future of the Technical Advisory Panel depends on whether the General Assembly determines to reauthorize the Colorado Forest Restoration Act, which is not subject to sunset review and is scheduled for repeal by operation of law on July 1, 2017. If the General Assembly does not reauthorize the Forest Restoration Act, the panel will have no duties to fulfill and it should be allowed to sunset. If the General Assembly reauthorizes the Forest Restoration Act and appropriates funds to continue to offer grants via the program, then it should be continued.
After conducting a comprehensive sunrise review, the sunrise review uncovered little evidence of consumer harm to support a state program to regulate the practice of art therapy. The sunrise review recommends against regulation.
The sunrise review identified several general types of harm from growing cannabis, as well as steps taken by the state outside of occupational regulation to address many of them. For others, however, conventional occupational regulation does not present a viable solution. Therefore, COPRRR recommended against regulation of cannabis growers as a professional occupation.
Colorado citizens could be at risk for harm by process servers. To mitigate the potential for harm, the State of Colorado should require process servers to pass a fingerprint-based criminal history background check and pass a jurisprudence examination.
Any interested party may provide input on reviews by contacting DORA directly at 303-894-7855 or online at www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora-oprrr/coprrr-participate.
The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675.
Media Contacts:Rebecca Laurie
Department of Regulatory Agencies
p: 303-894-2338 | c: 720-724-0612