STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT
|09:30 AM to 11:02 AM
|This Meeting was called to order by
|This Report was prepared by
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Amended, Referred to the Committee of the Whole
Representative Peniston, chair, called the meeting to order and made opening comments to the committee members regarding committee procedures for the upcoming session.
09:35 AM -- House Bill 09-1024
Representative McNulty, prime sponsor of House Bill 09-1024, introduced the bill, which concerns the application of specified audit reporting requirements within the Colorado Local Government Audit Law to certain entities that are otherwise not required to comply with the requirements. Representative McNulty explained that the bill was recommended by the Legislative Audit Committee to correct problems with exempt entities that do not have to meet certain reporting requirements and schedules with the State Auditor's Office. He explained that the bill requires certain local entities to submit financial audit reports to the state auditor on the same submission schedule as required of other local governments. The entities affected by the bill include: the Fire and Police Pension Association, local housing authorities, public entity insurance pools, the Colorado Sheep and Wool Authority, the Colorado Beef Council Authority, the Colorado Horse Development Authority, the Statewide Internet Portal Authority, and any association formed by political subdivisions. These entities are currently categorized as "exempt" under state law, with fewer reporting requirements and submission schedules for financial audits to the state.
Representative McNulty addressed questions from the committee members concerning the fiscal accountability for these entities to submit state audits and whether the bill would create additional reporting requirements. Representative McNulty explained that this bill does not create a new requirement for the entities, but merely imposes uniform requirements for the submission of audit reports.
Don May, representing the National Association of Housing Redevelopment, testified against the bill and explained that House Bill 09-1024 would place additional burdens on housing authorities throughout the state. Mr. May discussed various funding problems with smaller housing authorities and reasons for these smaller entities to delay submitting audits to the state. He also explained that housing authorities operate on different fiscal years, which may complicate reporting requirements to the state and federal government, and that new legislation may not solve reporting problems for housing authorities in the state. He addressed questions from the committee members concerning the standard operating budget for housing authorities, Section 8 Housing, and explained the complicated federal reporting requirements for housing authorities. He explained that housing authorities typically do not receive state funds, and current law does not allow these entities to delay submitting audits to the state for certain financial circumstances.
Crystal Dorsey, representing the Office of the State Auditor, explained that the bill was recommended by the Legislative Audit Committee and distributed a summary of the bill to the members (Attachment A). Ms. Dorsey discussed the reporting requirements for exempt entities in state law and the provisions that allow time extensions for agencies that need more time to submit their state audit. She addressed questions concerning the lack of recourse that exists for the office when exempt entities have trouble submitting state audit reports. Ms. Dorsey discussed the option of withholding property tax revenue for some entities that have not submitted audit reports to the state, but she explained that delinquent entities may be prevented from receiving funding from outside sources. Ms. Dorsey explained the reason the bill was recommended by the Legislative Audit Committee.
Representative McNulty entered closing comments and requested that the committee lay over House Bill 09-1024.
Representative Peniston laid over House Bill 09-1024.
10:16 AM -- House Bill 09-1072
Representative Middleton, prime sponsor of House Bill 09-1072, introduced the bill, which concerns modifications to statutory provisions addressing the governance of library districts addressed the committee and distributed a fact sheet on the bill (Attachment B). She explained that the bill modifies statutory provisions addressing the governance of library districts in the state. Representative Middleton discussed special districts in her district and addressed questions from the committee members regarding taxing authority of library districts, and when special districts are involved in collective bargaining agreements.
Jacqueline Murphy, General Counsel for the Colorado Association of Libraries, and Eloise May, also representing Colorado Association of Libraries, testified in support of the bill and discussed the need for House Bill 09-1072 to eliminate obstacles to forming library districts. Ms. May discussed the funding mechanisms for library districts and the funding advantages of library districts compared to local libraries funded by cities and counties.
Ms. Murphy discussed the need for House Bill 09-1072 and talked about several library districts that helped draft the language for the bill. She discussed problematic provisions in Section 3 in the bill, which addresses existing libraries that are forming a library district and the library service areas within municipalities. Ms. Murphy explained that this section needed to be taken out of the bill to provide written notice to the entire service area of a municipality that considers the formation of a library district.
Ms. May and Ms. Murphy addressed questions from the committee members concerning mill levies for library districts, and the procedure for forming library districts, which requires approval by voters within the district. They explained prepared amendment L.001 (Attachment C) to the committee members.
Gene Hainer, Executive Director, Colorado State Library, testified to clarify questions from the committee members about the State Library. He explained that the bill would have little or no impact to the State Library.
Representative Middleton made closing comments and discussed prepared amendment L.001 (Attachment C).
The committee members discussed the provisions of Section 3 in the bill and the possibility of an amendment to strike Section 3.
| 11:00:53 AM
|Moved to refer House Bill 09-1072, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on an 11-0 vote.
Final YES: 11 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
The committee adjourned.