The Colorado Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform (COPRRR), in the Executive Director’s Office at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), released the 2023 sunset reports today. The reports have been sent to the Colorado General Assembly and are now available online at coprrr.colorado.gov.
“Sunset reviews help to keep Colorado on the forefront of regulations and reform,” Patty Salazar, DORA Executive Director said. “We provide the General Assembly with comprehensive and thoughtful recommendations for changes to regulatory and other government programs. Protecting Coloradans while fostering an inclusive economy and a thriving workforce is a top priority
This year, COPRRR conducted 27 sunset reviews of programs throughout Colorado state government to identify opportunities to reduce regulatory burdens while upholding consumer protection. Programs reviewed include those housed within DORA, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology, the Judicial Branch and the Departments of Early Childhood, Education, Health Care Policy and Financing, Higher Education, Human Services, Law, Military and Veterans Affairs, Natural Resources, Public Health and Environment, Public Safety and State.
“While consumer protection is front and center in all that we do, our office also seeks to find the balance between protecting the public and breaking down potential barriers,” Brian Tobias, Director of COPRRR said. “Public participation is important to the sunset process. When conducting sunset reviews, we strive to include as many interested parties as possible, and we encourage the public to contact us directly to participate in any of our reviews.”
Report highlights include:
- Continuing professional regulation: Professions, such as architects, engineers, land surveyors, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, plumbers and respiratory therapists, were up for sunset review, and each of the reviews recommends continuing the regulation of these professions.
- Continuing business regulation: Financial services, such as banks, credit unions, trust companies and money transmitters, underwent sunset review, and the sunset reviews found regulation was necessary to protect the public. Sunset reviews also considered regulation of charitable gaming, consumer credit counseling service providers, settlement companies, and private occupational schools and recommend continuation.
- Continue funding programs: Sunset reviews determined several funding programs were necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, including the Broadband Deployment Board, which allocates funds for new capital broadband projects to provide broadband services to unserved areas in Colorado; the High Cost Support Mechanism, which serves as a source of additional capital funding to assist broadband deployment in unserved or underserved areas of Colorado as well as providing funds to certain rural telecommunications providers; the Underfunded Courthouse Facility Cash Fund, which disburses funds to counties in need of supplemental financial assistance for state courthouse facility projects; and the Veterans Assistance Cash Fund, which extends grant funding opportunities to a variety of governmental and non-profit organizations that provide support to veterans across the state.
- Continuing other programs or functions: A sunset review examined the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind, which provides invaluable centralized expertise and referrals for people who are deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind, and recommends continuation. As the Commission has outgrown its current structure, the sunset review also recommends an external evaluation to streamline and reconfigure it. Another sunset review recommended continuing the rulemaking authority of the Executive Director of the newly created Department of Early Childhood.
- Recommended for sunset: The Evidential Breath-Testing Cash Fund, created in 2014 so that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment would have access to funds when the state’s stock of breathalyzers would need to be replaced, was evaluated by COPRRR. The sunset review, however, found that no money has been deposited into the fund, so it recommends sunsetting it.
- Strengthen regulation: A sunset review determined that regulation of funeral homes and crematories is necessary to reduce the potential for harm to people who are grieving the loss of loved ones and are especially vulnerable, as the recent events demonstrate. In addition to continuing regulation, the sunset review proposes several other recommendations to strengthen and modernize the Mortuary Science Code. Another sunset review recommends continuing to regulate nontransplant tissue banks, which recover, transport, distribute, screen, store and arrange for the storage and distribution of human remains for purposes that do not involve transplanting tissue into human bodies, such as education or research. Finally, a proposal to regulate funeral service providers is currently being considered in an ongoing sunrise review, and the report with COPRRR’s findings will be released on December 31.
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 regulatory programs.
COPRRR analysts conduct comprehensive reviews of state programs and then produce reports with recommendations to the Colorado General Assembly. A sunset review examines existing regulatory programs to enhance consumer protection and streamline regulation, and a sunrise review explores whether there is a need to regulate a currently unregulated profession or occupation.
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 coprrr.colorado.gov for more information about COPRRR or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675.