Colorado House panel OKs bill shifting Ports of Entry to State Patrol

| 3/5/2010

Truckers should be encouraged by the latest action in the Colorado House to pursue the transfer of responsibility for the state’s Port of Entry.

The Colorado Department of Revenue now operates the Ports of Entry weigh stations throughout the state. The House Transportation and Energy Committee held a public hearing Thursday, March 4, and then voted to advance a bill that would hand over that responsibility to the State Patrol within the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

With the move, all statutory authority, powers, duties, personnel, property, funding, budgeting, purchasing and planning would shift from the Department of Revenue to the State Patrol.

Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, the committee’s chairperson and bill sponsor, told those gathered that consolidating truck safety and enforcement activities into one agency will improve efficiency and translate into cost savings. She referred to the switch as a “single one-stop shop for motor carrier safety.”

Owner-operator and OOIDA Life Member Jack McComb of Littleton, CO, went to the hearing at the Capitol to represent the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. During his testimony McComb said the bill would help ensure greater uniformity and consistency in truck inspections, interpretations of laws and enforcement procedures.

“I told them that drivers traveling cross country have to deal with the fact that there are not uniform laws from state to state. There are different circumstances in each state. That’s a very difficult thing for truckers to deal with,” McComb told Land Line. “Then when you get into an individual state where there is no uniformity, it just compounds the problem.”

The motor carrier services division of the Department of Revenue would continue to be responsible for personnel and facilities dealing with motor vehicle registrations, while the State Patrol would be responsible for enforcement-related and certain permit-related functions at POE weigh stations.

McFadyen pointed out that the model sought in the bill already exists in many states, and it works well.

“This move is a necessary one and needs to be done now,” she said.

The transportation panel’s unanimous approval of the bill – HB1113 – clears the way for it to move to the House Appropriations Committee before heading to the full House for further consideration. If approved there, it would go to the Senate.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Colorado in 2010, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

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