DORA Quarterly - Spring 2016
In this Issue
From Joe Neguse, DORA Executive Director
Welcome to the Spring issue of the DORA Quarterly. Spring is a season full of optimism and renewal; a time in which we relish in thinking in new and creative ways.
At DORA, it means we are already thinking about how we can better serve our customers in order to continue making Colorado’s regulatory environment even more efficient and, ultimately, more effective. By removing roadblocks and finding more efficiencies, we can use this time of renewal to make real differences in people’s lives. We consistently strive to work with communities statewide to cut red tape, support economic development, and protect consumers throughout our state.
The Quarterly shares our most current updates on these efforts. I encourage your feedback and ideas by emailing me at DORA_EDO@state.co.us.
State-chartered banks and credit unions got some fee relief this year due to a reduction semi-annual assessed fees. The January 2016 assessment by the Division of Banking included a more-than 7 percent average decrease since the last assessment issued in July 2015. The Division of Financial Services, likewise, announced a more-than 11 percent average decrease in the assessed fee for state-chartered credit unions.
Conversions of several financial institutions to a state charter, coupled with internal efficiencies and reductions of operating costs in the Division of Banking and the Division of Financial Services, enabled both divisions to substantially decrease the assessed fees. These divisions are cash-funded DORA agencies that do not depend on the state’s general fund to operate.
“We are committed to ensuring our regulatory activities support economic development in Colorado,” said DORA Executive Director Joe Neguse. “Significantly decreasing assessed fees on state-chartered banks and credit unions is just one way to reduce regulatory burdens and support a robust economic environment.”
The divisions establish semi-annual assessment fees for financial institutions licensed by the state based on their recently reported assets in order to generate sufficient funds to operate and are subject to change each cycle pursuant to Colorado law. The next assessment takes place at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Did you know that Colorado ranks 19th in the nation for overall mental illness prevalence and access to care?
DORA’s Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO) is working on a major initiative to help fill the mental health worker shortage by simplifying the licensing process so qualified mental health care providers can more quickly begin work in the community.
As part of the initiative, four of the State’s mental health licensing boards have adopted new rules that streamline the licensing process for addiction counselors, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers.
“We took a fine-tooth comb to our licensing process to remove barriers so qualified providers can get to work faster, perhaps making the difference in the life of just one patient and a tragedy averted,” said Ronne Hines, DPO Deputy Director for Healthcare at DORA.
DORA houses six licensing and regulatory boards for mental health professionals including Addiction Counselors, Licensed Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Registered Psychotherapists.
“As we work on some of the State’s toughest health problems, unnecessary licensing delays should never trip a patient’s access to care,” said Joe Neguse, DORA Executive Director. “The streamlined licensing efforts by these boards will go a long way to fulfilling patient needs for mental health services in the State.”
DORA welcomed Frances A. Koncilja to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Originally from Pueblo, Koncilja has practiced law in the Denver area since 1972. She began her career with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, and later worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She entered private practice in 1978 and in 1993 founded the law firm Koncilja & Associates. For 23 years, the firm handled a broad range of commercial, civil and bankruptcy disputes in state and federal courts.
Throughout her career, Koncilja has dedicated herself to public service and the people of Colorado. Some of her notable appointments and affiliations included:
She was appointed commissioner by Governor John Hickenlooper and confirmed by the Colorado Senate in February. Her four-year term expires in January of 2020. See her full bio.
The Colorado Civil Rights Division offers free courses to help employers understand their rights and responsibilities regarding Colorado employment anti-discrimination laws. Recently the division began offering a series of webinars centered around specific current issues that can involve employment, housing and public accommodations and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA).
In January, the division offered a webinar on equal access to public restrooms for transgender persons, and most recently one on pregnancy and discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations. These webinars are available to view online where you can also find additional in-person classes.
View the complete DORA calendar.
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