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House Committee Hearing Changed to Jan. 30 at 1:30 p.m. for Mandatory Continuing Education in Colorado  

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Gene Kooper
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January 17, 2019 9:57 pm  

Next Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee will hear the Professional Land Surveyors of Colorado's bill to mandate continuing education for license renewal.  The hearing will be in the Legislative Services Building, Room A (old Colorado State Museum).  If you are interested in testifying for or against the bill it is best to be there at 1:20 p.m. so you can sign up before the hearing starts. 

At present, House Bill 19-1040 - Concerning establishing a continuing education requirement for professional land surveyors is the third bill scheduled for the hearing.  It is wise to check the schedule prior to showing up in case other bills have been added.  Here is the link to the schedule and agenda for the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee for the day of the hearing.

House Business Affairs and Labor - Wednesday January 23, 2019 - 1:30 pm | LSB A

Agenda

The schedule web page has an audio symbol to the right of "1:30 pm | LSB A."  If you click on that a new page is displayed.  To the right of "January 23, 2019 - 1:30 PM" will be a link to "audio" and clicking on that after 1:30 will provide you with a live audio feed of the hearing.  You can determine for yourself which side has the better arguments and know in real time whether the bill was "postponed indefinitely" or referred to the "Committee of the Whole."

For reference, the following are PDFs of the introduced bill and fiscal note.

HB19-1040 - MCE bill (Introduced)

HB19-1040 - Fiscal Note 1

ETA:  As an alternative use this link to keep track of the bill's status, history and upcoming schedule.

HB19-1040 Professional Land Surveyors Continuing Education

This topic was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Gene Kooper
This topic was modified 4 weeks ago by Wendell

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Gene Kooper
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January 17, 2019 10:38 pm  

As a reminder here is the meat of the bill:

Text of Section 1 of HB19-1040

1 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

2 SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 12-25-215.5 as

3 follows:

4 12-25-215.5. Continuing education - rules. NO LATER THAN

5 DECEMBER 31, 2019, THE BOARD SHALL ADOPT RULES ESTABLISHING

6 REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION THAT A PROFESSIONAL LAND

7 SURVEYOR MUST COMPLETE IN ORDER TO RENEW AN ACTIVE LICENSE TO

8 PRACTICE LAND SURVEYING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2021. TO COMPLY WITH

9 THIS SECTION, THE RULES MUST REQUIRE THE SURVEYOR TO COMPLETE

10 BOARD-APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION SUFFICIENT TO MAINTAIN

11 COMPETENCY.

For those interested in reading the report and recommendations prepared by the Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform (the group within DORA that prepared the report mandated by C.R.S. 24-34-901) here is the PDF entitled, "2018 Review:  Proposal for Mandatory Continuing Education for Professional Land Surveyors."  The proposed statute doesn't say much, but the Professional Land Surveyors of Colorado are very specific with what they want the rulemaking process to require of Colorado licensed Professional Land Surveyors.  On page 4 of the report (page 7 of 15 of the PDF file) they state:

  • 30 MCE hours is required during a biennium;
  • 2 MCE hours must be in ethics;
  • 10 MCE hours may be earned in self-directed study; and
  • 15 MCE hours may be carried forward into the subsequent biennium if a licensee exceeds the biennial requirement in any cycle.

Personally, I don't have any idea how the PLSC can propose 10 MCE hours in self-directed study when the statutory language clearly states that the continuing education MUST be board-approved CE sufficient to maintain competency.  That should prove interesting in the rulemaking process.

The other thing that I had to giggle at is that the PLSC proposes that CE credit should be given for "participating in professional or technical societies and their committees" (same page).  So, if I understand this correctly the PLSC Board of Directors (they approved submitting this bill to the Legislature) and those that serve on PLSC committees (e.g. the Legislative Committee that "wrote" the bill) will get CE credit for merely serving....Hmmm, so how does that meet the bill's requirement that ALL CE be "board-approved CE sufficient to maintain competency." It seems to me that some folks haven't quite thought this through.  I might have to sign up to be a member of the rulemaking committee just to see how they justify their notions as elaborated in the below PDF report from DORA if they manage to get this bill enacted.  I will remind the committee members that the architects specifically disallowed serving on professional society boards and committees from counting as mandated CE.  😀 

For those uninterested in the details of the report and how it was prepared, skip to the Conclusions on the last page.  The four determinations made by DORA are damning.  My professional peers supporting this bill are going to have to get on their tap shoes and perform a Ted Mack masterpiece to dance around the final paragraph and convince the Legislature that everything is Peachy Dory!

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Gene Kooper

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Gene Kooper
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January 17, 2019 11:11 pm  

For completeness here are links to two earlier threads that I started on this topic.

State Continuing Education Requirements for License Renewal

Mandatory Continuing Education Bill (HB19-1040) Introduced in the 2019 Colorado Legislative Session

I hope to see some of you at the hearings and hope that those that are in favor of the bill recognize that I respectfully disagree with their opinion.


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Gene Kooper
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January 22, 2019 10:01 am  

Bumping this to announce that the hearing has been rescheduled.  I received an email earlier this morning that the MCE bill will be heard on January 30, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. in the Legislative Services Building, Room A.  I will bump this again next Tuesday for anyone interested in attending or listening to the audio of the hearing.

The schedule for the House Business Affairs and Labor will be updated late tonight to show the change.

 

ETA:  The email from the staff person for the committee did not mention why it has been rescheduled.  Currently, there are two other bills scheduled for the Jan. 30 hearing by the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee.  Those are "Employment Support Job Retention Services Program" and "Plumbing Inspections Ensure Compliance."  No idea yet on the order of the bills.  Looks like an exciting line-up for next Wednesday.  It will likely be placed after the plumbing bill.  🤨 

This post was modified 4 weeks ago by Gene Kooper

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Gene Kooper
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January 22, 2019 10:09 pm  

Here is the Colorado General Assembly link that verifies the rescheduled hearing for HB19-1040.  It will be the first bill heard.

House Business Affairs and Labor - Wednesday January 30, 2019 - 1:30 pm | LSB A


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thebionicman
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January 23, 2019 7:16 am  

The other day we followed morticians and accountants. Riveting stuff I tell you . 😎😎

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Gene Kooper
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January 30, 2019 9:18 am  

The House committee hearing is this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in LSA Room A.

Here is a link to the hearing.  Press the audio button to the right if you want to be bored to tears listen to the testimony.

https://leg.colorado.gov/content/house-business-affairs-labor-3


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Gene Kooper
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January 30, 2019 7:55 pm  

Well, if anyone listened to today's hearing, I bet you are as confused as I am.  More on that when the committee hearing documents become available.

Posted by: Jim Frame

CA doesn't share a boundary with CO, but for what it's worth we remain mercifully free of a CE requirement.

To paraphrase Jim's quote in another thread, CO doesn't share a boundary with CA, but the two states share a common philosophy regarding the efficacy of MCE.  After this afternoon's hearing Colorado will remain mercifully free of a CE requirement for at least one more year!

The House Committee on Business Affairs and Labor, voted 2-9 to advance the bill to the Committee of the Whole with a second vote of 10-1 to postpone the bill indefinitely.


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thebionicman
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January 31, 2019 6:34 am  

It's nice to see professionals involved enough to influence policy...

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Gene Kooper
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January 31, 2019 7:26 am  

Tom,

I seriously doubt that any of the committee members found my testimony to be so persuasive that it actually changed their mind.  The key element that swayed the committee members was the report by the Dept. of Regulatory Agencies that concluded MCE for land surveyors would not be "protective of the public".

I discussed the statute that requires DORA to prepare the report and attached the report to the second post in this thread.  That report is what killed the bill.  The report was written a year ago and in the intervening year, the PLSC never submitted anything to counter the report's conclusions.  Many of the committee members understand the value of continuing education for licensed professionals.  They declined to vote for the bill because the supporters of the bill failed to demonstrate why a state regulatory mandate is required.

I'll post information later this morning regarding a failed amendment to the bill that greatly confused the committee members, which in my opinion sealed the fate of the bill.


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Gene Kooper
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January 31, 2019 12:12 pm  

Final comments regarding HB19-1040.  There were 8 people that testified; 2 against and 6 for the bill.  Of the eight, I was the only one who did not represent an organization; I was there as an individual licensee.  The organization that opposed the legislation was ACEC.  Among those in favor of the bill were 4 representatives of the PLSC, one from the Colorado Association of County Surveyors and one from ASCE.

At the end of the testimony, an amendment was offered by the bill sponsor.  Below is the introduced bill with lines 6 through 10 stricken by the amendment.

Text of Section 1 of HB19-1040

1 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

2 SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 12-25-215.5 as

3 follows:

4 12-25-215.5. Continuing education - rules. NO LATER THAN

5 DECEMBER 31, 2019, THE BOARD SHALL ADOPT RULES ESTABLISHING

6 REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION THAT A PROFESSIONAL LAND

7 SURVEYOR MUST COMPLETE IN ORDER TO RENEW AN ACTIVE LICENSE TO

8 PRACTICE LAND SURVEYING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2021. TO COMPLY WITH

9 THIS SECTION, THE RULES MUST REQUIRE THE SURVEYOR TO COMPLETE

10 BOARD-APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION SUFFICIENT TO MAINTAIN

11 COMPETENCY.

 

And here is the amended language (underlined) replacing those 5 stricken lines.

Text of Section 1 of HB19-1040

1 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

2 SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 12-25-215.5 as

3 follows:

4 12-25-215.5. Continuing education - rules. NO LATER THAN

5 DECEMBER 31, 2019, THE BOARD SHALL ADOPT RULES ESTABLISHING

6 A VOLUNTARY CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR PROFESSIONAL LAND

7 SURVEYORS.  TO COMPLY WITH THIS SECTION, THE RULES MUST ESTABLISH

8 A PROGRAM THAT THE SURVEYOR COMPLETES SUFFICIENT TO MAINTAIN

11 COMPETENCY.

The committee members' faces quickly went from a curious expression to a confused, "Say wha?".  After 5 surveyors opined in their testimony that the profession absolutely required a state mandate of continuing education, the first sentence of the amendment did a complete 180° and made it voluntary.  Four committee members stated their complete confusion and queried the sponsor about what the change meant.  Their questions revolved around why the bill in its amended form was needed since Colorado surveyors currently take continuing education on a voluntary basis. 

No questions were asked about why the licensing board should be required to promulgate rules for a voluntary program.  The bill's sponsor seemed ill-prepared to answer the questions, which indicated to me that he was not involved in drafting the amendment and if the PLSC drafted the amendment, one would think that their testimony would not have been totally devoted to the need for a mandate!  I'd ask the PLSC about the source of the amendment, but they are not likely to feel obliged to answer questions from someone that opposed the bill.  The amendment failed on a 3-8 vote.

In my humble opinion, that ill-advised amendment did far more harm than all of the testimony in favor of the bill.  One committee member stated that he had spent more time assessing the merits of this bill than any other bill so far this session.  He did not look happy regarding the last second about face.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Gene Kooper

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John Thompson
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January 31, 2019 8:26 pm  

Thanks, Gene for keeping us informed about bill. I'm a couple hundred miles from Denver, so I wasn't able to attend the hearing, but I did email the committee to let them know I didn't care for the idea. I appreciate the time and effort you have put into this.


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Tom Adams
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February 11, 2019 11:06 am  

It's good to see well-thought-out discussion on things like "Mandatory Continuing Education" (and/or four-year degree programs).  At first blush, I think many surveyors want to see both, because most have gone through the trouble to get an education and keep up on their knowledge and learning.  I have gone through stages of being strongly for both if these concepts to finally questioning if or that it will really take care of the problems if incompetency and careless work.  I have come to a conclusion that ethical behavior, learning and continued learning is something that is individual, and "force-feeding" education does not work.  The incompetent surveyor should be weeded out by other means.

Thanks to people like Gene Kooper that keep me more informed than do some organizations that are created for that purpose.


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