Colo governor wants improved relations with local governments

In a host of executive orders released this week, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper issued a policy to enhance the relationship between state and local government. In Executive Order D 2011-005, the governor acknowledged a need for more flexibility and he directed state agencies to take specific steps to minimize burdens for local governments.

“Local governments should have more flexibility to design solutions to problems without
excessive interference or oversight, or unnecessary regulation, from state government,” Gov. Hickenlooper wrote in the order. “In addition, local governments should not be expected to implement laws and regulations without the funding necessary to do so.”

The order lists a handful of steps that must be taken to ensure that state regulations do not overburden cities and counties. The order prohibits agency mandates that are not required by federal or state laws; that are enacted without consultation with affected local governments; or are not paid for by state funds.

Agencies are also required under the order to actively solicit input from elected officials and other representatives of local government when developing regulations, utilizing the agency’s website to monitor and publicize the process. The order also acknowledged a need to create temporary or permanent waivers for local governments, requiring agencies to prepare and publish waiver application policies online.

“For many years state government has imposed an ever-increasing number of legal requirements on local governments, without regard to the costs such requirements impose on already-strained local budgets, and without providing additional funding to enable local governments to comply,” the order states.

To read Executive Order in its entirety, click here.

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