Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

S_AGR_2016A 01/10/2017 01:34:38 PM Committee Summary




Date: 01/10/2017
Time: 01:34 PM to 05:29 PM
Place: LSB A
Becker J.
Becker K.
This Meeting was called to order by
Representative Vigil
This Report was prepared by
Meghan O'Connor
Mitsch Bush
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Status of Outstanding Audit Recommendations

SMART Government Act Presentation from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources

SMART Government Act Presentation from the Colorado Department of Agriculture
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

01:36 PM -- Status of Outstanding Audit Recommendations and the Colorado Energy Office

Kerri Hunter, Deputy State Auditor, introduced herself to the committee and explained what information would be provided in the briefing from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA). The committee received the Annual Report: Status of Outstanding Audit Recommendations (Attachment A), a summary report from the Office of the State Auditor for FY 2016-17 (Attachment B), the Colorado Energy Office Follow Up to 2012 Audit (Attachment C), and report highlights of the Colorado Energy Office Follow Up to 2012 Audit (Attachment D).

170110 AttachA.pdf170110 AttachA.pdf170110 AttachB.pdf170110 AttachB.pdf170110 AttachC.pdf170110 AttachC.pdf170110 AttachD.pdf170110 AttachD.pdf

01:40 PM

Michelle Colin, Managing Legislative Auditor, discussed the report and responded to questions from the committee concerning the report. Ms. Colin explained that the Energy Office agreed with the recommendations in the follow-up report, and that the office is taking steps to implement those recommendations and that staff continues to follow those policies.

01:52 PM

Crystal Dorsey, Managing Legislative Auditor, discussed the Annual Report on the Status of Outstanding Audit Recommendations. She explained which programs and agencies have outstanding recommendations and that each of those outstanding recommendations have different priorities.

Ms. Dorsey discussed the outstanding recommendations for the Department of Agriculture. She explained that the department has 8 outstanding recommendations within the five-year period of the last audit. She discussed specific recommendations that the department has yet to implement, including recommendations relating to the State Fair and the accounting department. A new audit regarding the State Fair will be released in January of 2017.

02:00 PM

Ms. Dorsey responded to questions regarding outstanding audit recommendations.

02:05 PM

Ms. Dorsey explained that more information regarding audit reports can be found on the OSA website and responded to further questions from the committee.

02:07 PM -- SMART Government Act Presentation from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Bob Randall, Executive Director, Department of Natural Resources (DNR), introduced himself to the committee. The committee received copies of DNR's Regulatory Agenda for FY 2016-17 and the Performance Plan for FY 2016-17 (Attachments E and F). Mr Randall discussed the three strategic polices of DNR in the upcoming year and ways in which the department seeks to accomplish these goals. Mr. Randall discussed the DNR dashboard, initiated by Governor Hickenlooper. Mr. Randall described how this dashboard improves various interactions between DNR and the public, including customer service, obtaining hunting and fishing licenses, and complaints related to oil and gas operations. Mr. Randall responded to questions from the committee regarding the financial stability of state parks throughout the state.

170110 AttachE.pdf170110 AttachE.pdf (Attachment F)

02:28 PM

Bill Levine, Budget Director DNR, introduced himself to the committee and gave an overview of his presentation to the committee. Mr. Levine discussed the severance tax and how the tax and how those funds are distributed. Mr. Levine discussed the recent decision in B.P v. Colorado Department of Revenue. and how that decision affected the severance tax fund. Mr. Levine discussed the Perpetual Base Fund, which is used primarily for water project loans, and the Operational Fund and Tier 1 Programs that receive that funding. Any money left in the Operational Fund is put toward Tier 2 programs. Mr. Levine explained that all money in the Operational Fund will be put towards Tier 1 programs and that Tier 1 programs will not be funded in FY 2016-17. Mr. Levine responded to questions from the committee.

02:43 PM

Mr. Levine discussed funding requests for DNR in FY 2017-18 and distributed a summary of those requests (Attachment G). These requests include funding for water resources, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Executive Director's office.

170110 AttachG.pdf170110 AttachG.pdf

02:53 PM

Bill Ryan, Director, Colorado State Land Board, introduced himself to the committee and discussed the role of the State Land Board. The board manages approximately 3 million surface acres of land, which are leased for agricultural, recreational, commercial real estate, rights-of-way, renewable energy, and other uses. Additionally, the board manages approximately four million acres of mineral estate, which are leased for oil, natural gas, coal, and other solid mineral extraction uses. He stated the board is governed by a five-member board of commissioners as well as Director King and briefly described the goals and metrics of the board. Mr. Ryan responded to questions from the committee regarding the inspections of land leased by the board and the price of land that the board leases versus the market value of similar privately owned land. Committee discussion ensued.

03:00 PM

Bob Broscheid, Director, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), goals and funding of CPW, generally. He explained how CPW supports hunting, species management programs, and other fishing and wildlife resources and explained the benchmarks and actual numbers in programs that support those programs. He also discussed CPW's increased focus on wildlife education and the expansion of the park pass program, with support from state libraries. Mr. Broscheid stated that CPW is beginning to develop the Cameo Shooting range in the town of Palisade, among other accomplishments. Mr. Broscheid explained that state park visitation has increased, while the number of hunters in the state has decreased. Mr. Broscheid stated that there have been no closures due to Aquatic Nuisance Species, citing that figure to the success of CPW's Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Program. Mr. Broscheid responded to questions from the committee regarding legislation concerning sea planes, as they relate to the ANS management program and discussed species conservation in the state. Committee discussion ensued regarding hunting and other recreation policies, especially relating to access to hunting and other outdoor recreation activities.

03:28 PM

Matt Lepore, Director, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), introduced himself to the committee and described the role of the COGCC. The regulation of oil and gas exploration and production is the single major program managed by the OGCC. Mr. Lepore discussed idle well bonding and a program carried out by COGCC in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in order to reduce contamination of aquifers by hydrocarbonate poultion. Mr. Lepore discussed the location of oil and gas facilities and the actions the department has taken to reduce conflicts in that area. He discussed oil and gas permitting and well inspections. Mr. Lepore responded to questions from the committee and committee discussion ensued.

03:59 PM

Ginny Brannon, Director, Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety (DRMS), introduced herself and described the mission and organization of the division. She discussed the coal industry, and how it has been impacted by a lower global demand for coal and a tightening of regulation. Ms. Brannon also discussed the DMRS mineral program and the economic impact of the mining of minerals in the state. She stated that DMRS is evolving the inspection policy in order to conduct more inspections. Ms. Brannon discussed the Inactive Mine Reclamation Program and explained the accomplishments of the program. She explained that over the next five years, hazardous-feature reclamation outputs are expected to decline due to planned decreases in federal funding.

04:15 PM

James Eklund, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), introduced himself to the committee. Mr. Eklund discussed priorities of the CWCB, as they relate to the Colorado Water Plan, as well as budget requests that the CWCB will be making in the upcoming session. Mr. Eklund discussed the CWCB's Instream Flow Program and responded to questions from the committee regarding the program and the implementation of the Colorado Water Plan. Mr. Eklund distributed a handout regarding an update of the implementation of the plan (Attachment H).

170110 AttachH.pdf170110 AttachH.pdf

04:36 PM

Dick Wolfe, State Engineer, Colorado Division of Water Resources, introduced himself to the committee and briefly described DWR and its programs -- Water Administration and Dam Safety. Generally DWR is responsible for the supervision and control of water resources in the state and is funded primarily through the General Fund. Water Administration within DWR consists of two sub-programs: administration of intrastate water rights and interstate compact enforcement. It is the statutory responsibility of DWR to verify that stream diversions are per decree, wells are operated in compliance with their permits, augmentation plans or substitute water supply plans are replacing stream depletions, and interstate compact flows are delivered to downstream states.

04:45 PM -- SMART Government Act Presentation from the Colorado Department of Agriculture

Don Brown, Commissioner of Agriculture, Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), introduced himself to the committee and identified CDA staff to the committee. Commissioner Brown distributed a presentation regarding the department's budget and performance plan (Attachment I). The committee also received copies of the department's regulatory agenda and the performance plan for FY 2017-18 (Attachments J and K). Commissioner Brown discussed the organization of CDA and briefly discussed specific programs within the department. He discussed the state of the agricultural economy in the state and public attitudes of the industry.

170110 AttachI.pdf170110 AttachI.pdf170110 AttachJ.pdf170110 AttachJ.pdf (Attachment K)

05:07 PM

Tom Lipetzky, Director, Markets Division, introduced himself to the committee and provided the committee with an update of the department's performance plan. Mr. Lipetzky discussed the three main strategic policy initiatives of the department: enhance public understanding of Colorado agriculture; increase marketing and sales opportunities throughout the state's food and agriculture value chain; and make it easier for our customers to do business with the department. Mr. Lipetzky stated that the department is making positive progress toward achieving the strategic policy initiatives. He discussed the consolidation of CDA offices and other efficiencies the department has implemented in order to achieve these initiatives.

05:16 PM

Chris Wiseman, Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, CDA, introduced himself to the committee. He discussed the department's legislative agenda for the upcoming session, which include the Hemp Accountability Act, hemp transportation, addressing the term length of people sitting on the wine board, and removing marijuana from the Farm Products Act.

05:19 PM

Joy Huse Chief Financial Officer, CDA, introduced herself and discussed the department's budget requests. She discussed phase two of the department's office consolidation and explained that the department is requesting $26.7 million to complete that phase . She also discussed cash funds for the AgLicense, inspection, and enforcement.

05:21 PM

Jennifer Gurr, Chief Administration Officer, CDA, discussed the department's regulatory agenda and rule-making activities of the department.

05:23 PM

Chris Whitney, Brand Commissioner, CDA, responded to questions from the committee regarding brand inspection fees. Commissioner Brown also responded to questions regarding the brand inspection fees.

05:26 PM

Committee members thanked CDA staff for their presentation and Representative Vigil for his service.

05:28 PM

The committee adjourned.

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details