DORA Quarterly - Spring 2016

 
DORA-Quarterly_Masthead_Webpage.jpg
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies | Spring 2016
Email address:

In this Issue


Joe Neguse, Executive Director

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 See Fee Reductions  

calculator-178127_640_pixabay.jpgState-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.


State Mental Health Boards Streamline Licensing Process  

connect-puzzle-316638_1280_pixabay.jpg

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.”   


New Commissioner Joins the PUC

DFKoncilja.JPGORA 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:
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association, Founding Member
  • Colorado Bar Association, President
  • Colorado Lottery Commission, Chair and Board Member
  • Colorado Economic Development Commission, Board Member
  • Colorado Supreme Court & Court of Appeals Nominating Commission
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.

Civil Rights Division Offers Free Webinars for Employers

The Colorado Civil Rights Division offers free courses to help employers understand their rights and resentrepreneur-593371_1280.jpgponsibilities 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.

Upcoming Meetings

  • DORA Quarterly - Calendar clip artFinancial Services Board - April 8
  • Utilities Consumers Board - April 12
  • ​Producer Advisory Council - April 20​
  • Civil Rights Commission Public Meeting - April 22
  • Colorado Dental Board - April 27-28
  • ​Title Insurance Commission - May 11​
  • Architect, Engineer & Land Surveyor Board - May 17
  • Real Estate Mortgage Loan Originator Board - May 18
  • Public Utilities Commission Hearings - Multiple dates​
View the complete DORA calendar.
 
*Neat Feature* 
Google users can add an individual board or program calendar to their own Google calendar. To do this, just click on the "Google Calendar" symbol on the bottom of the calendar view on our homepage. You can also find DORA's individual meeting calendars on division homepages.     

Recent Strides ...

We strive to make doing business with us simple and to provide our customers access to helpful resources. Check out some of our recent strides below, and please send us your feedback ... we want to hear from you!
  • Industry Outreach
    Following the success of the Pits and Peeves initiative, DORA divisions have impaneled industry stakeholder groups to continue discussing ways to improve government processes, cut red tape, improve customer service and discuss reasonable and conscientious regulation. Interested in joining a stakeholder panel? Email
    dora_edo_callcenter@state.co.us.

     
  • Partnerships
    DORA has partnered with Denver Business Roundtable and its “Connect and Collaborate” radio program on KDMT “Denver’s Money Talk” 1690 AM. Tune in each month to hear agency commissioners and leaders discuss regulations, cutting red tape, and ways DORA assists businesses. Interviews are also available as podcasts. For more information, visit  http://www.cobrt.com/radio.

     
  • Customer Service
    We appreciate your positive feedback!
     
  • From a licensed psychologist using DORA’s new online license verification process:  "Colorado's system is by far the easiest and most efficient... I had to get verification from multiple states… they should all adopt your model. Thank you again for your response and caring."
     
  • From a pharmacy compliance manager’s legal analyst: “I am still learning the nuances of whole process even after three years, and people like Ms. Rivera [in the Division of Professions and Occupations] enable me to take one thing more off the plate. Plus, she made me look more competent and efficient at the same time with my employer. That can never be a bad thing!”
  • Education
    ​DORA is partnering with organizations statewide to help raise awareness on the importance of financial literacy. As part of this effort, DORA will be offering presentations, educational resources and more, sharing information over Facebook  and Twitter pages, as well as participate in national Retirement Planning Week starting April 11 and Money Smart Week starting April 23. Get more clarity about your own financial health. Visit askDORA.colorado.gov for more information.

     
  • Resources for Military Applicants
    DORA helps current and transitioning military service members use military training and experience to obtain civilian licensure

Ways to Reach Us


 DORA Logo


Email address:
(optional) Your name:
Email address: