Colorado's 2018 Sunrise and Sunset Reviews released

 

DENVER  - (Oct. 15, 2018) -  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), today released the 2018 sunset and sunrise reports. The reports have been sent to the Colorado General Assembly and are now available online on dora.colorado.gov/opr.

COPRRR analysts conduct comprehensive reviews of state programs and then produce reports that include legislative and administrative recommendations to the Colorado General Assembly. A sunset review examines existing regulatory programs to enhance consumer protection and streamline regulation based on a legislatively-prescribed schedule, and a sunrise review explores whether there is a need to regulate a currently unregulated profession or occupation.  

This year, COPRRR conducted 34 sunset and sunrise reviews throughout Colorado state government including programs and boards within DORA and other state departments, such as Agriculture, Health Care Policy and Financing, Human Services, Office of the Attorney General, Public Health and Environment, Public Safety, Revenue and Natural Resources. 

“This ongoing and regular review of state regulatory programs, functions and processes is what keeps Colorado so competitive and helps to strengthen our economic climate,” said DORA Executive Director Marguerite Salazar. “COPRRR’s website makes it simple for any Coloradan to participate and have a voice in this process.”

“Sunrise and sunset reviews constantly seek to find the balance between protecting consumers and eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens," said COPRRR Director Brian Tobias at DORA. "Public input is vital to both types of reviews. While we endeavor to contact as many interested parties as possible, we encourage the public to contact us directly to participate in any of our reviews.”

Highlights include:

  • Continuing licensure: Such professions as Anesthesiologist Assistants, Certified Public Accountants, Electricians, Physicians, Physician Assistants, Podiatrists and Psychiatric Technicians were up for sunset reviews, and the reviews recommend continuing licensure of these professions.
  • Not recommended for licensure: Sunrise reviews of possible new regulatory programs included Behavior Analysts, Manufactured Housing Community Owners and Managers, and Parental Responsibility Evaluators. The reviews concluded that new or additional state regulation of these occupations or professions is not necessary to protect consumers.
  • Continuing administrative programs: The sunset review of the Cold Case Task Force recommends it continue to establish best practices for training related to cold case investigations, so that law enforcement may solve more cold cases. A sunset review of the Colorado Licensing of Controlled Substances Act, which requires programs that treat substance use disorders with controlled substances to be licensed by the state, found that this program is necessary to protect the public against drug diversion. Finally, a sunset review of the Public Utilities Commission, which regulates natural gas, electrical, telecommunications, steam and water utilities, as well as motor carriers, transportation network companies, railroads and certain natural gas and propane pipelines, concluded that it should continue and made several recommendations for changes to statute.
  • Recommended for sunset: Refund Anticipation Loan Facilitators assist clients in applying for short term loans in anticipation of income tax refunds. Considering the federal government has oversight of refund anticipation loans and the sunset review did not identify any consumer harm related to these types of loans, COPRRR recommends discontinuing the state regulatory program. The Standing Efficiency and Accountability Committee, an advisory committee within the Colorado Department of Transportation, has completed its statutorily mandated tasks, so it should be allowed to sunset.
  • Unique recommendations: A review of the Medical Marijuana Code and the Retail Marijuana Code recommends harmonizing the two codes to create efficiencies in the regulatory programs and make compliance easier.

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.

The following summarizes COPRRR’s 2018 recommendations.  The complete sunset and sunrise reports and a schedule of future reviews are available online at dora.colorado.gov/opr.

Sunset Reviews

Accountancy Board
Colorado licenses certified public accountants and public accounting firms to assure that CPAs meet competency standards and that firms comply with the law and conduct business in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and, in addition to several changes to statute, the sunset review recommends continuation.
 
Cold Case Task Force
Colorado has more than 1,700 cold cases. The Cold Case Task Force provides the best practices training related to cold case investigation strategies and practices, so that law enforcement throughout the state may solve more cold cases. The sunset review recommends continuing the task force.
 
Controlled Substances, Recordkeeping & Licensing
The state licenses programs that treat substance use disorders with controlled substances in order to prevent diversion. Regulation is necessary for public protection, and the sunset review recommends continuing the program and making several other statutory and administrative recommendations.
 
Electrical Board
The State Electrical Board licenses electricians and electrical contractors who install and repair electrical wiring and electrical systems, and it also inspects electrical installations in areas where local jurisdictions do not conduct them. The Board is necessary to protect the public from unqualified electricians and contractors and to ensure that installations are safe. Along with several changes to statute, the sunset review recommends the State Electrical Board be continued.
 
Fire Suppression Program
Fire suppression systems are potentially life-saving systems, but a system can only protect lives if it is installed correctly and maintained properly. This program ensures contractors and inspectors are qualified, and it inspects systems in public schools, hospitals and in local areas without inspection authority. The sunset review recommends continuation.
 
Hemodialysis Clinics and Technicians
As the front-line providers of care in dialysis clinics, hemodialysis technicians must possess the proper education and training to safely perform the routine dialysis tasks and to know when to alert the supervising nurse or physician to any concerning changes in a patient’s condition, and the sunset review recommends the regulation of hemodialysis clinics and technicians be continued.
 
Home Care Agencies & Placement Agencies
Home care agencies and placement agencies provide long-term care to individuals in their homes, and regulation is necessary to ensure that agencies meet the minimum standard of care and that agencies are properly vetting those employees who work with a vulnerable population. The sunset review recommends the program be continued, and other changes to the law.
 
In-Home Support Services
In-Home Support Services allows Medicaid recipients who require home health services to select their own attendants, who are then employed, trained and paid through a home health agency. IHSS allows Medicaid beneficiaries to avoid placement in institutional care, and the sunset review recommends continuation to safeguard the use of public funds and to provide the least restrictive form of care to elderly people, children with disabilities and people with spinal cord injuries. The sunset review also recommends expanding the program.
 
Medical Board, Colorado
The Medical Board licenses physicians, physician assistants and anesthesiologist assistants. Medical or surgical treatment performed by an unqualified or incompetent medical provider could result in serious harm to a patient, including disability and even death, and, in addition to other statutory changes, the sunset review recommends the board continue to regulate the practice of medicine.
 
Medical & Retail Marijuana Codes (DOR)
The Medical and Retail Marijuana Codes provide strong regulatory frameworks to regulate industry participants, production management and safety issues related to medical and retail marijuana sold in Colorado. The state constitution requires the state regulation of retail marijuana. The sunset review recommends regulation be continued, and makes several recommendations for changes to the law, including integrating the two codes to create more consistent and efficient regulation while retaining the distinction between medical and retail marijuana.
 
Medical Marijuana Program (CDPHE)
The state’s constitution requires a state-run medical marijuana registry for medical marijuana patients, caregivers and physicians. With a medical marijuana card, a patient may purchase medical marijuana from centers around the state. In addition to several changes to the law and the regulatory program, the sunset review recommends the medical marijuana registry be continued.
 
Passenger Tramway Safety Board
Passenger tramways transport skiers, mountain bikers, sightseers and hikers from the base of a mountain to the top.  The safety of these passengers is a paramount concern, and, for this reason, the sunset review recommends the board continue to license passenger tramways.
 
Pet Animal Facilities
The Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act requires any facility where pet animals are kept to be licensed. Regulation is necessary to keep animals safe and prevent the spread of diseases, including some that may be transmitted from animals to humans. The sunset review recommends that the regulation of pet animal facilities be continued and several other changes to the law and the regulatory program.
 
Podiatry Board
Podiatrists perform medical and surgical treatments on the human foot and ankle, and podiatric treatment performed by an unqualified or incompetent practitioner could result in serious harm to a patient, including deformity, chronic pain and amputation of a toe, foot or lower leg. In addition to other statutory changes, the sunset review recommends the board continue to regulate the practice of podiatry.
 
Professional Review Committees
Professional review is the process by which professional review committees in hospitals, insurance companies and other health-care entities evaluate the quality of care provided by medical and nursing practitioners. The purpose of the Colorado Professional Review Act is to protect the quality of patient care, and the sunset review recommends continuation, in addition to other changes to the law.
 
Psychiatric Technicians
Psychiatric technicians provide care to patients with mental or emotional conditions or developmental disabilities. Without licensed psychiatric technicians, the Colorado Mental Health Institute and the regional centers that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities would struggle to provide services to their patients, which would put the patients’ health and safety at risk. The sunset review recommends the Colorado Board of Nursing continue to license psychiatric technicians, and it also recommends a few minor changes to the law.
 
Public Livestock Markets
The State Board of Stock Inspection Commissioners licenses public livestock markets. As there are many legally required practices that must occur at a point of sale, the sunset review recommends that public livestock markets continue to be regulated, along with additional recommendations.
 
Public Utilities Commission
The Public Utilities Commission has varying degrees of regulatory authority over natural gas, electrical, telecommunications, steam and water utilities, as well as motor carriers, transportation network companies, railroads and certain natural gas and propane pipelines. Since the Colorado constitution directs the PUC to regulate “the facilities, service and rates and charges of public utilities in Colorado,” the sunset review recommends public utilities continue to be regulated. COPRRR also recommends several  other statutory changes.
 
Refund Anticipation Loan Facilitators
Refund Anticipation Loan Facilitators assist clients in applying for short-term loans in anticipation of income tax refunds. Since the federal government increased oversight of refund anticipation loans, the number of these types of loans and entities offering them has decreased substantially. Considering the sunset review did not identify any consumer harm, it finds the state regulatory program to be unnecessary.
 
River Outfitters & Advisory Committee
Making sure that commercial whitewater companies are eligible to conduct business, that is, they have insurance, experienced guides, and the health and safety equipment necessary to operate a rafting business under potentially dangerous circumstances is important. The sunset review recommends the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division continue to license river outfitters, and it also recommends the continuation of the advisory committee and separate qualifications for fishing trip leaders.
 
Seed Potato Act & Advisory Committee
The purpose of the Colorado Seed Potato Act is to control and minimize the spread of contagious community diseases in potato crops, and, along with several other changes, the sunset review recommends its continuation.
 

Advisory Committee Sunset Reviews

Concurrent Enrollment Advisory Board
The purpose of the Concurrent Enrollment Advisory Board is to provide coordination assistance between local education providers and higher education institutions in order to improve the quality and accessibility of concurrent enrollment programs for Colorado students. The advisory board is a valuable resource to strengthen concurrent enrollment programs, and the sunset review recommends its continuation.
 
Emergency Planning Subcommittee
The Colorado Emergency Planning Subcommittee is tasked with the designation, coordination and supervision of local planning districts to develop emergency response preparedness plans in accordance with the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986. Since the planning committee plays an important role in statewide emergency preparedness and it is federally mandated, the sunset review recommends that it be continued.
 
Human Trafficking Council
The Human Trafficking Council provides a forum for coordination between state agencies, statewide service organizations and regional task forces. It works to increase the accessibility of data and resources, to make access to services for victims of human trafficking more available and to offer more efficient tools for the prosecution of those who engage in human trafficking within the state. The sunset review recommends its continuation.
 
Parent Involvement in Education
The State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education was established to meet the following goals: to increase parental involvement in order to reduce achievement gaps, decrease the dropout rate, increase graduation rates and increase the number of students who continue on to higher education. The advisory council has been modeled by several other states, and the sunset review recommends that it is continued.
 
Public Safety Communications Subcommittee
The purpose of the Public Safety Communications Subcommittee is to create policy recommendations to strengthen the critical public safety communications system in Colorado, and the sunset review recommends its continuation.
 
Standing Efficiency and Accountability Committee
The purpose of the Standing Efficiency and Accountability Committee is to ensure efficiency and compliance with state and federal laws within CDOT operations and report actions taken by CDOT related to the FASTER audit. As the committee has completed the tasks mandated in statute, the sunset review recommends that the committee be repealed.
 

Sunrise Reviews

Behavior Analysts
Behavior Analysts evaluate behavior and develop treatment plans for their clients to improve their personal and professional lives. COPRRR did not find sufficient evidence to warrant a unique regulatory program specific to applied behavior analysis.
 
Manufactured Housing Community Owners & Operators
Manufactured housing community owners and managers own or manage manufactured housing communities. There are laws and rules in place that regulate numerous aspects of manufactured housing communities. The instances of public harm discovered over the course of this review—relating to topics as various as water quality, utility billing, non-consensual towing, and discriminatory conduct—generally are addressed by existing laws or are already under the purview of state agencies. While the public would benefit from increased compliance with the current laws, the value of imposing occupational regulation on manufactured housing community owners and managers would likely be minimal.
 
Parental Responsibility Evaluators
In particularly contentious child custody disputes, where the parents cannot agree on issues such as parenting time or parental responsibilities, either party or the court may request a parental responsibility evaluation. Since parental responsibility evaluators already fall under the jurisdiction of not only the courts, but their respective regulatory boards, creating an additional regulatory structure appears unnecessary.
 
Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy technicians perform a variety of tasks, such as preparing and filling prescriptions, in pharmacies. The sunrise review uncovered examples of physical harm and illegal activity related to pharmacy technicians and, in order to better protect consumers, recommends requiring pharmacy technicians to obtain specific qualifications in order to practice.
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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