Advisory Boards to Abolish
By Jerry Kopel
Dec. 12, 2007
The legislative branch proposes and the executive branch (and sometimes
the legislative branch) ignores. So another group of boards are
recommended for death row in 2008 by the Dept, of Regulatory Agencies
(DORA) as well as a health insurance program without a customer.
Legislators love to set up advisory boards. They don't cost much and
it's another plug for re-election. In many cases, that legislator is no
longer in service in the capitol building when the board is repealed .
In the 1986 legislative session, I wrote and carried HB 1101, which is
now the Sunset review of advisory committees under CRS 2-3-1203, et al.
Then-Sen. Steve Durham (R) was my Senate sponsor. There were several
dozen of these committees, defunct or obsolete, which have now been
removed from the statute books.
DORA has carried on this tradition.
(1) "The Air Quality Science Advisory Board was created in 1992 as part
of the implementation of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,"
according to DORA. The purpose was to provide advisory opinions and
assessments to the Air Quality Control Commission.
Why repeal? The advisory board "has not met since before 2000." Staff
at the Dept. of Public Health and Environment admit the advisory board
is no longer necessary.
(2) The Dynamic Modeling Advisory Committee was approved in 2005 as part
of the program to analyze the economic impact of tax policy bills. The
advisory committee was supposed to "assist the legislative council
research director in selecting a model that would consider the direct
and indirect economic effects of tax policy changes."
Why repeal? The committee (which was supposed to be appointed by the
research director) was never convened, probably because the research
director, under statute, had the option to rely on other sources to
select the appropriate model, and obviously did.
(3) In 2007, the legislature enacted the Forest Restoration Act dealing
with among other items, forest restoration. An advisory panel was
enacted to evaluate proposals and make recommendations to the director
of the State Forest Service.
The legislature provided $1 million for grants to be awarded by the
advisory panel and $1 million in projects were approved by the panel.
Will the legislature appropriate additional funds? It should depend on
whether the Forest Act, scheduled for repeal July 1, 2008 is continued.
If not, DORA states the advisory panel should be repealed.
IF THE MONEY DOESN'T COME, THE BOARD'S TIME IS DONE
The Auto Theft Prevention Authority and Board statute was passed by the
legislature in 2003. No state funds were to be involved, just donations
(basically, they came from State Farm and Progressive Insurance
companies) from which to make grants to aid law enforcement agencies in
improving theft prevention programs.
DORA found Colorado was one of the top 10 states in auto theft. The
estimated value of car theft in Colorado in 2005 was $156.3 million.
What are the top 10 cars stolen in Colorado in 2007?
1. Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth Colt
2. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
3. Honda Accord
4. Honda Civic
5. Ford Full Size Truck (150/250/350)
6. Chevrolet Full Size C/K truck
7. Ford Explorer
8. Chevrolet Compact SUV (Blazer)
9. Toyota Camry
10. Dodge Intrepid
Our thieves don't go after the Oldsmobile Cutlass, Toyota Corolla,
Chevrolet Caprice, and Ford Taurus, which four made the top 10
As of the time the DORA report was written $841,000 in donations and
interest earned, was spent on grants and administrative expenses.
Statistically, value of recovered vehicles was $10 for every $1 donated,
but, states DORA, "there is insufficient evidence to attribute car theft
decline to the grant allocated to law enforcement agencies."
After 2004, DORA's report shows the "contributions and donations have
been insignificant and insufficient to maintain and continue (the
program)"..."most insurance companies have neglected, failed, or refused
There was a significant drop in auto thefts in the Denver-Aurora
metropolitan area for 2006 compared to 2005, from 17,773 to 13,887, plus
decreases in all areas except Grand Junction.
DORA concludes without a consistent funding source or the ability to
conclusively prove the decline in thefts were due to the program, the
program should be repealed.
A HEALTH PROGRAM WITHOUT A CUSTOMER
The Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement Pilot Program, (MEWA) was
created in 2003 "to allow self-employed people, and small
businesses....to purchase insurance...and maximize affordability of
coverage by using their leverage as a large group to negotiate lower
"Only one MEWA was formed under the pilot program and that MEWA was not
able to secure health insurance coverage from a health insurance
As a result, there are zero participants in the MEWA and "MEWA did not
have an effect on the insurance market in Colorado." DORA states MEWA
should be repealed.
(Jerry Kopel served 22 years in the Colorado House and was also chief
sponsor of the Sunset Law of 1976 and the Sunrise Law of 1985.)