Egg Safety; Community Colleges
Lose Gambling Money; Lottery Player Demographics
April 4, 2009
By Jerry Kopel
Colorado's executive branch has treated people who eat eggs pretty
Now however the Department of Regulatory Agencies Sunset research staff
and legislators Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village and Rep. Randy
Fischer, D- Ft. Collins recognized the need to protect egg eaters from
former loopholes in Colorado's egg inspection laws, through SB 127 which
has been signed into law by Gov. Bill Ritter.
According to DORA, the Agriculture Commission recognized its duty to
stop large sales of bad eggs, but the legislature had not given the
agriculture staff the authority to include inspection of vehicles
transporting eggs as the way to find bad eggs before they reach the
DORA had found virtually no regulation concerning transportation of eggs
from wholesalers to the retailers. From now on, they both, as well as
others, will be called dealers. Of course, loopholes were known about in
all recent previous administrations.
Cutting down on the number of different license/types was part of DORA's
successful goal as well as urging the legislature to expand authority
over "the sanitation of temperature required of vehicles used to
transport eggs in all of the delivery process."
DORA recommended the agriculture commissioner have control over rules on
both transportation, refrigeration, and processing of eggs, as well as
criteria for licensing dealers. There had to be authority to inspect
vehicles used during business hours to make sure the protection offered
in the vehicles actually safeguarded the eggs being transported. SB 127
Exempt from regulatory law, if they want exemption, are persons
producing and selling at retail less than 250 dozen eggs per month.
Did you read the actual language now in the constitution before you
voted to expand hours, games and bets for limited gaming:
"Annual adjustment in connection with
distributions to limited gaming fund recipients listed in subsection
(5) (b) (II) of this section (Kopel: That is the replacement on 28
percent to State Historical Society (SHS) and 50 percent to general
revenue) to reflect the lesser of six percent of, or the actual
percentage of, annual growth in gaming tax revenue attributable to
this section (7). (Kopel: This section divides up the new money.)
House Bill 1272 rewrites the meaning of "annual
adjustment" to reflect in the first year (2009-10) "the payment shall
equal six percent of the first year's limited gaming revenues
attributable to extended limited gaming". So if the true figure is two
percent, the payment to the SHS would still be six percent.
Payments for subsequent years follows the constitution language until we
get a new definition of "limited gaming tax revenue attributable to
extended limited gaming" meaning:
"all limited gaming tax revenue in excess of
the amount collected during fiscal year 2008-09" adjusted as
There is a new 2008-09 base which is three
percent greater, not six percent greater as the adjusted base, and each
year thereafter there is a lesser of three percent based on an actual
lesser sum adjusted percentage for the prior fiscal year.
Joanne Ditmer in the Denver Post wrote an excellent column on the
House committee vote on dividing the extended limited gaming law money
pointed out "proponents of the November vote promised the historic fund
would continue to get its share of "old" limited gaming proceeds and a
small portion of new expanded proceeds."
The gaming commission could license some slot and other games as $5 or
under games, but I don't believe that will happen.
I read Ditmer's column to mean "it won't be possible to determine old
and new proceeds, so it is worth reiterating SHS would be based on a
base started with the 2008-09 funding bumped up by three percent, capped
with no more than three percent or lesser amounts for future base
adjustments after 2009-10.
With another possible $200 million deficit on top of what is already
expected, the attempts by community colleges to get a big sum on top of
what they might have received without gaming expanding will likely meet
doom in a special session after the regular session ends in May.
The bill now awaits the governor's signature.
* * *
The state auditor has found that attempts to compare trends in lottery
ticket purchases nearly impossible for more than a few years of
experience, based on different approaches taken by "trackers".
The entire "section" for comparison of players and income began in 1987,
then was repealed in 2000 in a secretive manner, brought back into the
statutes in 2002. There it was done in a manner to avoid comparisons,
making it difficult for me and other columnists to spot what was
happening among lottery players.
I had for many years written of concerns the lottery players were poor
and minority, young and old.
The auditor's report for fiscal 2007 showed one out of five players
earned less than $40,000. One out of four refused to disclose their
income and 43 percent earned $40,000 to $100,000.
In fiscal year 2007, 84 percent of the players were white/non-Latino and
seven percent responders were Hispanic/Latino. One out of five was a
high school graduate and 47 percent had a college graduate or
Only seven percent were under 25 years of age and one out of three were
55 or older.
(Jerry Kopel served 22 years in the Colorado House.)