STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
TRANSPORTATION LEGISLATION REVIEW COMMITTEE
|Time:||09:10 AM to 04:28 PM|
|This Meeting was called to order by|
|This Report was prepared by|
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
|Bills Addressed: ||Action Taken:|
|Presentation by the Department of Transportation|
Presentation by the Colorado Motor Carriers Association
Presentation on Waste Tire Grants
Presentation by the Department of Revenue
House Bill 09-1230
Presentation on Air Quality Regulation
09:10 AM -- Presentation by the Department of Transportation
Senator Gibbs, Vice Chair, called the meeting to order. The committee observed a moment of silence in honor of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy.
Executive Director Russell George, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Mr. Doug Aden, representing the Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel, testified before the committee regarding state transportation matters. Mr. Aden provided an update on the work of the Governor's Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel (Blue Ribbon Panel). He provided background on current revenue projections to support the state highway system and discussed expected needs. Materials were provided to the committee members (Attachments A, B, and C).
Mr. Aden provided further statistics regarding current challenges to statewide transportation, specifically aging infrastruction and structually deficient bridges. Mr. Aden responded to questions from committee members. Senator Williams stated that she would like additional information regarding Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations. Representative King asked Mr. Aden about statistical analyses of highway and road accidents.
Executive Director George discussed current revenues generated through Senate Bill 09-108. Senator Williams asked Executive Director George to discuss the number of bridges classified as structurally deficient according to each of the CDOT regions. Senator Renfroe asked if Senate Bill 09-108 directed revenues according to region or based upon a different allocation method.
Executive Director George discussed time frames and requirements for new projects to go to bid. He further discussed the Senate Bill 09-108 Transportation Deficit Report.
Executive Director George discussed budgetary changes resulting from passage of Senate Bill 09-228. He also provided information on the implementation of Senate Bill 09-094 to establish a new CDOT Division of Transit and Rail.
Executive Director George provided information on CDOT's use of federal funds received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Approximately $385 million was provided to Colorado for highway projects. A map of ARRA-funded projects was provided to the committee members (Attachment C).
Executive Director George discussed the federal reauthorization of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy of Users (SAFETEA-LU). Congress is currently considering an 18-month extension of the current authorization bill. Executive Director George responded to questions from committee members. Senator Kopp asked about the use of public-private partnerships in transportation projects.
Representative Vaad discussed challenges in maintaining statewide transportation infrastructure. He asked Executive Director George about the potential benefits of devolving state highways from the state highway system.
Representative King asked Executive Director George about motor vehicle registration late fees established under Senate Bill 09-108. Senator Williams discussed the use of ARRA signs posted at the location of ARRA-funded projects. She further asked Executive Director George to elaborate on ARRA funds provided for transit projects.
Senator Renfroe asked Executive Director George about CDOT collaboration with the Colorado congressional delegation regarding the SAFETEA-LU reauthorization.
Representative Baumgardner asked Executive Director George to discuss planned levels of service for snow removal on certain roads. Representative McFadyen commented on the distribution of ARRA funds across the state.
11:10 AM -- Presentation by the CMCA
The committee returned to order. Mr. Greg Fulton, representing the Colorado Motor Carriers Association (CMCA), presented to the committee. Mr. Fulton provided background information on the trucking industry in Colorado and discussed current economic challenges.
Mr. Fulton discussed legislation enacted during the recent session impacting the motor carrier industry. He provided further information regarding taxation and environmental issues specific to trucking fleets.
Mr. Fulton discussed legislative and regulatory issues of concern to the Colorado trucking industry. Mr. Fulton also provided information on the fiscal impact of Senate Bill 09-108 motor vehicle registration late fees.
Mr. Fulton responded to questions from committee members. Representative Tyler asked for information on the life-span of a highway truck.
Representative McNulty discussed the importance of attracting businesses to locate in Colorado. He further expressed to the chair his interest in having the director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade testify before the committee. Senator Gibbs discussed challenges with trucks carrying hazardous materials over steep mountain passes.
The committee recessed.
11:51 AM -- Presentation on Waste Tire Fee Grants
The committee returned to order.
Mr. Tony Hernandez, Director of the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Division of Local Government, discussed clean up of illegally dumped tires. Mr. Hernandez discussed DOLA grant programs, eligible recipients, and eligible activities.
Mr. Hernandez discussed the $1.50 tire fee that supports the waste tire grant programs. Representative Looper asked Mr. Hernandez to comment on potential budget cuts and related impacts upon the DOLA waste tire grants. Handouts were provided to the committee (Attachments D, E, and F).
The committee recessed.
01:34 PM -- Presentation by the Department of Revenue
The committee returned to order.
Ms. Roxy Huber, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), testified before the committee. Ms. Huber described new changes to DOR processes and programs instituted during her tenure as DOR executive director. Challenges exist for DOR staff in reprogramming computer programs given the antiquated nature of the programs. She further discussed changes to DOR systems to accommodate processes impacted by Senate Bill 09-108.
Ms. Huber and Ms. Roni White, DOR Division of Motor Vehicles, responded to questions from committee members. Ms. White discussed the driver's license online renewal process and the driver's license applicaton process for persons temporarily residing within the U.S. Representative McFadyen discussed the costs related to purchasing large computer services. Ms. White discussed actions by the federal government regarding licensing and identification.
Senator Williams asked Ms. White to comment on licensing procedures related to new airport security requirements. Ms. White further discussed challenges presented by new requirements for a person's name on his or her identification to match the name listed on his or her boarding passes.
Ms. Maren Rubino, Operations Director, DOR Division of Motor Vehicles, testified before the committee regarding the Colorado State Titling and Registration System (CSTARS) and projections estimating insolvency by 2011. In the coming year, the DOR will request that the General Assembly consider legislation to increase revenues to the CSTARS special purpose fund. The large increase by the General Assembly was in 2001. The fund is expected to be insolvement by 2011. Ms. Rubino provided background on CSTARS, its purpose, and its assistance to county governments.
Ms. Joan Vecchi, Senior Director, DOR Division of Motor Vehicles, testified before the committee. Ms. Vecchi provided handouts to the committee (Attachment G) and discussed driver's license expirations. The handouts provided statistical analyses of Division of Motor Vehicles activities. (Attachment H) There are 196 types of driver restraints that can occur. Ms. Vecchi provided background on the state emissions program and driver's license issuance. Currently, driver's licenses are issued on a five-year basis. Ms. Vecchi responded to questions from committee members.
Senator Renfroe asked Ms. Vecchi to comment on the number of documents processed by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Ms. Vecchi explained the process of providing data reports with the current computer system. Representative Vaad asked Ms. Vecchi to comment on identification cards issued by the Division.
02:26 PM -- House Bill 09-1230
Representative McFadyen discussed the statutory responsibility of the committee to consult with various parties on the issues raised in House Bill 09-1230.
Mr. Chip Taylor, representing Colorado Counties, Inc., testified before the committee. Mr. Taylor provided background information on the collection of local sales tax on automobile sales. Mr. Taylor responded to questions from committee members.
Ms. Sara Rosene, Clerk and Recorder, Grand County, representing the Colorado County Clerks Association, testified before the committee. Ms. Rosene cited statistics on local sales tax collections. Ms. Rosene responded to questions from committee members.
Ms. Melissa Kuipers, representing the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, testified before the committee. Ms. Kuipers discussed procedural challenges for automobile dealers in sales tax collections from customers. Ms. Kuipers responded to questions from committee members. Representative McNulty asked Ms. Kuipers to comment on the amount of total sales tax impacted by faulty sales tax collections from automobile sales.
Representative Looper asked for a representative from the DOR to respond to questions. Ms. Huber responded to questions regarding the accuracy of DOR systems for sales tax collection. Senator Williams stated that legislation would be considered at the next meeting of the committee.
Representative Tyler discussed the accuracy rate of automobile dealer sales tax collections. Representative Summers, sponsor of House Bill 09-1230, discussed the intent of the bill as introduced during the 2009 session.
03:08 PM -- Presentation on Air Quality Regulation
Mr. Tom Peterson, representing the Colorado Asphalt Association, commented on the imposition of environmental fines on the asphalt industry by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE.) He commented on the de-listing of hot-mix asphalt plants, and on compliance with environmental laws in the industry. He raised concerns with the level of fines levied against operators in the industry and said that these costs are passed on in the sale of construction materials. He commented on a recent accident in northern Colorado that involved the spillage of asphalt into a creek.
Mr. Pete Siegmund, Old Castle Southwest Group, commented on his asphalt production business and on fines that have been imposed on his business by the CDPHE. He spoke to the imposition of fines that he considers "double-dipping." He said that in instances in which there are honest mistakes that do not result in pollution of the environment, CDPHE should have discretion in the imposition of fines.
Mr. John Ary, A&S Construction, said that he believes that CDPHE's fine process should be reviewed and that the fines appear to be "revenue-driven" rather than "environment-driven." He said that many fines at the $15,000 level have been imposed by CDPHE. He said that a failure to respond in a timely fashion could be fined by the department as a "paperwork" violation.
Mr. Ary commented on the imposition of a fine by the department for an instance in which an air pollution permit number was not placed on a piece of equipment. He said that the failure of his company to have the number on the equipment was an oversight on the part of his company.
Mr. Ken Coulson, Coulson Excavating Loveland, commented on violations by his company for which fines have been imposed. He said that his company has had $215,000 imposed for violations.
Mr. Rob Mangone, Rocky Mountain Pre-mix, commented on layoffs in his industry. He said that, in today's economy, costs such as fines must be absorbed and can lead to further layoffs. He said that he would be willing to pay the CDPHE to inspect his property in order for the company to be in compliance with all regulations.
Mr. Greg Rippy, Grand River Construction, said that his company has not been fined by the CDPHE, and that the common goal for all parties involved in this discussion is clean air. He said that CDPHE is constricted in its action and that he hopes a dialogue of collaboration will result from the raising of these issues. He said that reasonable fines should be imposed by the department.
Representative McFadyen said that she would like to see this problem solved in rule rather than in legislation. Mr. Rippy said that this is also his preference.
Mr. Paul Tourangeau, Director, Air Pollution Control Division, CDPHE, said that the department is a partner with the asphalt industry and that there should be no concerns with any type of retaliation by the CDPHE. He commented on the "compass" project in which the department examined compliance of the industry with environmental regulations. He said that this project entailed a full year in which a hiatus from regulatory enforcement was taken. He noted that subsequent to the project compliance increased in the industry. He said that there is no longer a dedicated FTE in the department to facilitate compliance by the industry, and that the department has a regular schedule on which inspections are conducted.
Mr. Tourangeau commented on the level of fines that are imposed by the department and said that state and federal laws allow for the imposition of strict fines. He commented on considerations of the department in imposing fines. He noted that fines may be appealed to the Air Quality Control Commission. He commented further on "paperwork violations" and said that some violations that are perceived to be "paperwork violations" may actually be environmental violations. He said that the regulations are complex and that it takes work in order to comply with them. He noted that asphalt companies agree to comply with the regulations when they receive a permit. He said that taking a case to the commission is expensive for all parties and that the settlement of cases can potentially save some of these expenses.
The committee meeting adjourned.