SB1210 passed out of House Commerce Committee this afternoon, March 21, with party line votes (all Republicans supported and all democrats opposed).
There was a floor amendment offered by Rep. Aguilar to continue the Board for one additional year. The amendment is what we call a “strike-everything amendment” where all of the text on the underlying bill would be struck and replaced with the new language. The amendment failed as all of the Republicans opposed. Prior to the hearing we gauged Republicans support of the amendment, but we received very little interest. The general response was that they simply wanted to move forward with the transition and not delay the move to DHS.
Jake Hinman, from Capitol Consulting, testified on the bill today to make it clear that the regulation is of the utmost importance and that further amendments are needed if SB1210 continues to move forward. It was also made clear that we would also support continuing the Board. In meetings with Republicans this week, it is apparent that the majority of Republicans do not support maintaining the Board. They continue to refer to the Auditor General’s report and the reference past issues.
That all being said, and this was reiterated by Republicans in the hearing today, that they are not seeking to deregulate the profession. In fact Rep Carbone (a Republican) brought up the infamous Colorado case. The Republicans in meetings this week as well as in the hearing acknowledged that more amendments are needed for SB1210. Those discussions will begin on Monday with a stakeholder meeting. We can continue to amend this with a Floor amendment and then even a Conference Committee with the Senate if we get to that point.
There have been questions about whether the Governor can simply continue the Board on her own. It is not believed that can be done for a variety of reasons. To put it simply, if the executive branch could simply continue Boards, we would have never started this process to begin with (nor would any other Board or agency for that matter). But we will see if we can get a more definitive answer.
Rest assured we are looking at this from all angles in order to protect the profession and the families that we serve.
As usual, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.