DORA Quarterly E-Newsletter
In this Issue
From Joe Neguse, DORA Executive Director
I am pleased to report that we finished out a very busy and successful 2016-2017 legislative session with some groundbreaking legislation that passed this year.
For example, DORA’s Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO) spearheaded SB17-146, which strengthens prescribers and pharmacists ability to combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic by improving access to the Colorado Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database. Also, the Division of Securities championed HB17-1253, the Senior Safety Act, which creates a mandatory reporting requirement for all licensed investment adviser and broker-dealer firms and their employees where there is a reasonable suspicion or belief that financial exploitation may be occurring. The requirement will be included in the Colorado Securities Act, and training is provided to the financial industry through the Division’s Senior$afe program.
The Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform (COPRRR) also conducted 24 sunrise, sunset and advisory reviews this past year with a wide variety of statutory recommendations, many of which were passed by the legislature, such as strengthening Colorado’s Fair Debt Collection Protections Act.
Finally, as part of our ongoing effort to modernize Department services, DPO recently launched several consumer-focused websites, including our new Military and Veterans Programs career transition and credential mobility site (colorado.gov/dora-military), which synthesizes information related to the assistance we provide to our military service-members, spouses and veterans to obtain professional licensure in Colorado.
As always, we very much welcome your feedback, so please email me anytime dora_EDO@state.co.us.
A bipartisan bill that clarifies the access prescribers and pharmacists have to Colorado’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database in order to provide them with stronger means to combat the epidemic of prescription drug abuse was recently signed into law.
SB17-146, a DORA agenda bill this past legislative session, aids Colorado’s licensed prescribers in their clinical decision making by allowing them to access the PDMP database anytime they need to make decisions tied to the overall health and wellness of a patient, not just when considering prescribing a controlled substance defined under current law. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Cheri Jahn (D-Wheat Ridge) and Rep. Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) and supports Gov. John Hickenlooper’s strategic action plan to reduce prescription drug abuse, which is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States.
Implementation of the PDMP falls under the Division of Professions and Occupations at DORA.
As part of the annual sunrise and sunset review process conducted by the Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform (COPRRR), input from interested parties and stakeholders on the programs under review helps to inform the review’s final recommendations. Anyone can contact COPRRR to provide input on a review.
If you are interested in a review in progress, please reach out to the COPRRR team by visiting dora.colorado.gov/opr or calling us at 303-894-7855.
The reviews currently in progress are:
Advisory Committee Reviews
DORA Executive Director Joe Neguse recently appointed State Bank Commissioner and Acting Financial Services Commissioner, Chris Myklebust, to officially serve as both the State Bank and Financial Services Commissioner. In this dual role, Commissioner Myklebust oversees two separate financial divisions at DORA — the Division of Banking and the Division of Financial Services.
The Division of Banking regulates the business of state chartered and/or licensed financial institutions, including state commercial banks, money transmitters, and trust companies. The Division of Financial Services regulates state-chartered credit unions and savings and loan associations, the administration and enforcement of the Savings and Loan Public Deposit Protection Act, and certain financial activities of state life care institutions.
Myklebust was appointed as Colorado’s State Bank Commissioner in July 2015 after serving as the State Commissioner of Financial Services for nearly 10 years. He was re-appointed as Acting Commissioner of Financial Services in November 2016 after the current Commissioner, Patty Salazar, was appointed as DORA’s Deputy Executive Director.
In this dual role, Myklebust has executive authority to ensure the safety of over $9.7 billion in deposits by 1.5 million consumers in Colorado’s credit unions, savings and loan associations and life care institutions, and $50 billion in deposits in Colorado’s commercial banks and trust companies.
In April the Division of Financial Services received its five-year reaccreditation from the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS), the national accrediting body for agencies that regulate credit unions. Notably, the Division received a superior score of 93 percent, one of the highest in the United States!
The Colorado legislature recently passed HB17-1253, the Senior Safety Act, which was signed into law June 3, 2017. Put forward by the Division of Securities, the Act creates a mandatory reporting requirement for all licensed investment adviser and broker-dealer firms and their employees where there is a reasonable suspicion or belief that financial exploitation may be occurring. Sponsored by Rep. Jessie Danielson and Sen. Larry Crowder, the Act provides a pathway for confidential reporting and information sharing to law enforcement and adult protective services by investment firms and professionals who suspect that financial abuses of at-risk clients, such as senior citizens, may be taking place.
Other protections include giving financial firms the ability to delay a disbursement of funds to a person whom they believe may be the victim of a financial scam or fraud. The Act also grants immunity from civil and administrative liability to those professionals who report in good faith.
The requirement will be included in the Colorado Securities Act. The Division of Securities offers trainings for financial institutions to help staff understand the requirements and red flags of financial abuse through its Senior$afe program.
Contact Jillian.firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Senior$afe presentation.
Utility regulators and electric transmission stakeholders from several western states gathered in Denver in March to learn more about the Mountain West Transmission Group’s (MWTG) plans to explore participation in a regional transmission organization. Colorado PUC Commissioner Frances Koncilja had led the all-day informational meeting to better understand the details of the proposed MWTG’s plans to explore participation in a regional transmission organization.
Over 85 people, including 16 speakers, attended the event, and an additional 87 participated via webcast. Utilities Commissioners from Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico and Missouri attended in person. Commissioners or staff from Utah, Nebraska and Montana attended via webcast.
The MWTG is composed of both of Colorado's investor-owned utilities, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCO) and Black Hills, as well as Tri-State Generation & Transmission and several other entities. MWTG has entered into a letter of intent with the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The SPP oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States on behalf of a diverse group of utilities and transmission companies in 14 states.
The meeting recordings can be found here under 2017 Meeting agendas and presentations.
DORA recently debuted a new Military and Veterans Programs website dedicated to career transition and professional credentialing for Active Duty, Reserves, National Guard, military spouses and Veterans on May 31. Colorado.gov/dora-military reflects the commitment of the Department to ensure that they have the information and support they need when pursuing professional licensure credentials in the State of Colorado. DORA licenses and regulates more than 50 professions and occupations in the state.
Several DORA divisions have programs and initiatives aimed toward assisting with transporting existing credentials or acquiring professional Colorado credentials and meeting a variety of life needs during military service or while transitioning to civilian life.
Streamlined and enhance licensure processes based on military experience for Nursing, Professional Engineer, Dental and Physical Therapy are currently available, with dozens more professions slated to be added. Additionally, a spouse who is relocated to Colorado by military orders, and has an active license in good standing from another state, may practice for up to one year from the date they move before obtaining a Colorado license.
The site also offers valuable consumer information as part of DORA’s consumer protection mission, such as financial wellness for military and veterans, understanding their private insurance, or knowing their civil rights in the workplace.
View the complete DORA calendar.
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