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j_src_2016a_2016-10-13t09:02:15z3 Hearing Summary

Date: 10/13/2016


3b. Report Database update


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Representative Thurlow moved to request a bill for Pass Without Objection

09:28 AM -- 3b. Report Database update

Ms. Forrestal and Susan Liddle, Legislative Council, discussed the contents of the reporting database prepared by Legislative Council, which was initially discussed at the SRC's August 17, 2016 meeting. Ms. Forrestal revealed that more than 200 reports would be affected by proposed legislation, including those that do not have the language required by section 24-1-136 (11) (a), C.R.S.

Ms. Liddle explained that Legislative Council currently tracks approximately 380 reports to the General Assembly.

Ms. Forrestal added that some reports that, technically, are still required by statute although the reports are no longer being submitted--and that these would be obsolete provisions.

Senator Steadman asked how many reports are not being submitted by a department although they are still statutorily required to do so. Ms. Liddle replied that she didn't have exact numbers. She also shared an example of an obsolete provision where one department is statutorily required, if it is interested in pursuing legislation, to submit a report to the general assembly. When Ms. Liddle followed-up with this department, they stated that submitting a report is not the appropriate mechanism in this case, that they would go through the governor's office.

Representative Thurlow then commented that the reporting database presented by Ms. Forrestal and Ms. Liddle is separated by department (education, etc.) and suggested that proposed legislation should be specific to each subject area, with the provision that the first step is to send the list of reports to the departments and get the first level of feedback about whether the report is needed, useful. Representative Thurlow commented that this kind of process could help guide leadership in assigning the bill to a committee of reference. He also shared that his goal with these bills is to increase government efficiency and to get the reporting requirements in compliance with the law in a way that vets the information so that reports that are valuable are not eliminated. If the report isn't useful, it will be repealed. During the committee process, amendments can be added if minds are changed.

Ms. Forrestal added that in committee, the repeal dates of the reports could be amended--that the dates aren't required to be of a certain time--that reports can continue for any number of years, not necessarily the three years required by section 24-1-136, C.R.S.

Senator Holbert then added that he agrees with Representative Thurlow's perspective and wondered if there was a way to refer the list of reports so that it applies to "State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act" hearings at the beginning of the session and wondered if leadership could include a discussion of reporting requirements for each committee of reference. Senator Holbert asked if it would be possible to require process for the SMART Act hearings.

Senator Steadman commented that he didn't think there was a prohibition on including reporting requirements within the scope of SMART Act hearings. He added that the General Assembly has, in the past, been through exercises with reporting requirements where a bill required joint committees of reference on all reports.

Ms. Liddle added that it was the 20th anniversary of the last time the reporting requirements had been under review.

Ms. Forrestal commented that for the past several years, OLLS bill drafters had been trained to incorporate the reference to section 24-1-136, C.R.S., (or, if the reporting is required for three years but longer, a reference to that timeline) in all bills that created reporting requirements.

Senator Steadment then added that farming the bills out to various committees of reference was the best option, to get a better sense of the value of the reports and that building it into the SMART Act, to institutionalize this review, would prompt a conversation between departments and the recipients of their reports.

Ms. Liddle added that the repeal on the reporting requirements could involve adding a "subject to review by committee of reference" to ensure that those conversations are had.

Senator Steadman then added that recipients of many of the reports aren't necessarily committees of reference. In some cases, the reports are being submitted to the Joint Budget Committee Staff, Capital Development Committee staff, etc., and that the SMART Act hearings wouldn't necessarily include parties interested in the reports who are outside of the committees of reference.

Representative Thurlow then closed out the discussion by stating that he hoped that the outcome of the bills would be better government and better government efficiencies. Senator Steadman then wondered if the bill might be beyond the scope of the SRC, but added that he thought it would still be a worthy enterprise of the Committee--to start the legwork and vetting--even if Representative Thurlow ended up running the bills. He also added that organizing the bills by department would be the best choice.

Ms. Forrestal suggested that, in preparing the bills by department, staff not include reports that already feature the language from section 24-1-136, C.R.S., or an exemption from that language. Senator Steadman agreed. He then asked whether the drafts would, at the outset, repeal the reporting requirements or create exceptions. Ms. Forrestal suggested repealing them all--except for two treasury reports that Senator Steadman had pointed out should not be repealed; she also suggested that members could amend the bills at the next SRC meeting. Representative Thurlow then requested that the bills be prepared consistently so that, if amendments were needed, they would be consistent as well. Ms. Liddle then added that the process is similar to sunset review.

BILL: 3b. Report Database update
TIME: 09:50:51 AM
MOVED: Thurlow
MOTION: Representative Thurlow moved to request a bill for multiple bill drafts dealing with repeal obsolete reports. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED: Steadman
Brad Ramming, Esq.
Patrice Bernadette Collins, Esq.
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 2 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

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