John Hickenlooper off to a fast start with three executive orders

The inauguration ceremony was cold, but Governor John Hickenlooper is off to a blazing start.

Hickenlooper issued three executive orders in the first few minutes of officially holding office, taking aim at economic development and improving the efficiency of state government.

"It is important that on our first day in office we demonstrate that jobs and economic development are at the top of the state's priority list," Hickenlooper said. "Today's executive orders are reflective of this commitment and of our promise to make government more efficient, effective and elegant."

And they are:

D 2011-003


Implementing a Statewide Economic Development Strategy

Pursuant to the authority vested in the Office of the Governor of the State of Colorado, I, John W. Hickenlooper, Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issue this Executive Order implementing a statewide economic development strategy.

I. Background and Purpose

In order to grow Colorado's economy, it is vital to engage Coloradans across the state in developing a comprehensive and collaborative approach to economic development. This new approach is designed to identify the needs, priorities, vision, strengths, and weaknesses of each of the state's counties, and incorporate them into 64 economic development plans, tailored to each county. These plans will roll up into fourteen regional plans that will comprise a comprehensive, statewide economic development plan.

This process will begin the very first week of this Administration, when the Governor, select members of the cabinet, and economic development staff will hold a series of meetings around the state. The meetings will be chaired by the Director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), and will seek local and regional input to develop county and regional plans. Counties will also respond to self-assessment surveys to be used in developing the plans.

This initiative will require the support of all of the state government's executive departments, as well as all agencies and divisions within those departments. This order will direct those departments to cooperate with this initiative and provide assistance to OEDIT, which is tasked with developing the economic development plans.

II. Directive and Scope.

A. The Governor's statewide economic development strategy is hereby initiated. The strategy will include a series of meetings on economic development to be held throughout Colorado, completion of self-assessment surveys by each county, and development of county and regional economic development plans.

B. OEDIT shall be tasked with organizing the regional meetings, analyzing surveys and information gathered at the regional meetings, and developing the regional plans.

C. OEDIT shall present the regional plans to the Governor as soon as practicable

D. Because this initiative will affect every aspect of the state's economy, it will also affect every state executive branch department. Accordingly, each executive branch department is directed to assist and cooperate with OEDIT in this initiative. Each department's executive director shall be responsible for ensuring that his or her department complies with this directive.

II. Deliverables

OEDIT shall present its fourteen regional plans to the Governor as soon as practicable.

III. Staffing and Resources

Specified members of the Governor's cabinet and OEDIT staff will attend and facilitate the initial series of meetings throughout the state. OEDIT shall perform follow-up work, including analysis of completed surveys, prioritization of projects, and development of the plans. The Governor's Office, through OEDIT, will provide technical assistance and budgetary support as necessary. As directed above, all executive branch departments shall assist and cooperate with OEDIT, but shall not be required to provide any funding support.

IV. Duration

This Executive Order shall become effective immediately, and shall remain in full force and effect until modified or rescinded by future Executive Order of the Governor.

D 2011-004


Creating the Governor's Trade and Tourism Ambassador Program

Pursuant to the authority vested in the Office of the Governor of the State of Colorado, I, John W. Hickenlooper, Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issue this Executive Order creating the Governor's Trade and Tourism Ambassador Program.

IV. Background and Purpose

In order to build and maintain a growing economy and create jobs, Colorado must fully integrate itself with an increasingly global economy. Doing so requires promoting the export of Colorado goods and services to other countries, persuading foreign investors to establish or expand operations in Colorado, and attracting tourists to experience the state's year-round attractions. Many states have established a dedicated presence in other countries to accomplish these goals, and it is critical that Colorado be able to compete effectively with such efforts.

Maintaining a dedicated trade and tourism development presence in other countries is a costly undertaking. In an era of constrained budgets, the Trade and Tourism Ambassador Program is created as a public-private initiative to address the issue of marketing and promoting trade and tourism with Colorado at almost no cost to the taxpayer. The program will enlist Colorado companies and individuals either already located or actively engaged in target countries to voluntarily promote trade, investment, and tourism with Colorado.

V. Directive and Scope

The Governor's Trade and Tourism Ambassador Program (the "Ambassador Program") is hereby created. The mission and scope of the Ambassador Program is as follows:

A. The Office of Economic Development and International Trade ("OEDIT") and the Colorado Tourism Office will jointly identify target countries in which to establish a Colorado Ambassador Group ("CAG"). Initially, the program will be established in Japan, Mexico, and Canada. Additional CAGs including, but not limited to, other strategic Asian and European markets, will be established as soon as practicable. OEDIT and the Colorado Tourism Office shall jointly establish procedures for the operation of the CAGs, based upon the directives of this Executive Order.

B. OEDIT and the Colorado Tourism Office shall establish a CAG in each target country comprised of local executives or managers of Colorado companies doing business in that country as well as other interested individuals. Creation of the CAG and its membership shall be as set forth in Section III below.

C. OEDIT and the Colorado Tourism Office will provide the CAG with data on the current state of international trade and tourism for the target country. These agencies may also work with such organizations as the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, the Denver Metro Chamber, Denver International Airport, Visit Denver, and others to obtain relevant information and input. The CAG members may ask for such additional information as they deem necessary, and may also use their own or other local resources for information.

D. Each CAG shall create and maintain an up-to-date marketing strategy and priority list for their country. This strategy should identify the top areas where the CAG and Colorado should focus its marketing efforts, as well as a marketing plan to promote and brand Colorado in its country. The CAG should work with OEDIT and the Colorado Tourism Office to ensure consistency in branding and messaging.

E. The CAG should interact on a periodic basis with OEDIT, the Colorado Tourism Office, and relevant private and nonprofit organizations in Colorado as necessary to coordinate initiatives, avoid duplication of effort, and work together when determined desirable.

VI. Membership

A. Each CAG shall be comprised of in-country executives and managers of Colorado companies, as well as interested individuals actively engaged with those countries having ties to, and a stake in, Colorado and its economy and tourism industry.

B. OEDIT and the Colorado Tourism Office shall solicit the names of such individuals from Colorado companies doing business in target countries and other relevant organizations (such as the local Chambers of Commerce, CACI, and others) and select the members of the CAGs from the names provided.

VII. Staffing and Resources

The directors of OEDIT and the Colorado Tourism Office may each designate an appropriate employee of their respective agencies to act as liaison to the CAGs.

OEDIT and the Colorado Tourism Office shall use existing funding, if at all, so that the CAGs may create any necessary marketing materials for use in their countries, and shall reimburse the panels for the costs of creating such materials, subject to established state government processes for approving any such reimbursement.

Members of the advisory panels shall serve without compensation, but may, at the discretion of OEDIT and/or the Colorado Tourism Office, be reimbursed for any incidental expenses incurred.

IV. Duration

This Executive Order shall remain in full force and effect until modified or rescinded by future Executive Order of the Governor.

D 2011-005


Establishing a Policy to Enhance the Relationship between State and Local Government

Pursuant to the authority vested in the Office of the Governor of the State of Colorado, I, John W. Hickenlooper, Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issue this Executive Order directing state agencies to take specific steps to enhance relations with local government.

I. Background and Purpose

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. Local governments continue to face difficulties such as funding, complexity, and delay in securing flexibility and approvals regarding state requirements.

Local governments should have more flexibility to design solutions to problems without excessive interference or oversight, or unnecessary regulation, from state government. In addition, local governments should not be expected to implement laws and regulations without the funding necessary to do so. In order to assist local governments in effectively complying with such requirements, this Executive Order gives direction to state agencies on consulting and working with local governments before imposing new regulations or other obligations.

II. Directive and Scope

A. To the extent authorized by law, no state agency shall promulgate any regulation creating a mandate on local governments unless:

1. The mandate is specifically required by federal or state law;

2. The agency consults with local governments prior to promulgation of the regulation; and

3. The state government provides the funding necessary to pay for the direct costs incurred by local governments in complying with the mandate.

B. Each agency, prior to the formal promulgation of regulations containing the proposed mandate, shall provide to the Director of the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting a description of the nature and extent of the agency's consultation with representatives of the local governments that would be affected by the proposed mandate, the nature of their concerns, any written communications or comments submitted to the agency by such units of local government, and the agency's reasoning supporting the need to issue the regulation containing the mandate.

C. Each agency shall develop a process to actively solicit the meaningful and timely input of elected officials and other representatives of local governments into the development of regulatory proposals affecting local government. Each agency shall implement its process as soon as practicable and post the process on its website.

D. Each agency that is permitted by law to grant temporary or permanent waivers of statutory or regulatory requirements shall adopt rules for granting waivers if a local government can demonstrate that the requirements conflict with other regulations or statutes, or are unduly burdensome. Each State agency shall prepare and publish on its website a policy describing the circumstances in which temporary or permanent waivers will be granted, and the criteria required for obtaining a waiver.

E. Each agency shall consider any application by a local government for a waiver of statutory or regulatory requirements in light of the goal of increasing opportunities for local governments to exercise flexibility in seeking to comply with statutory or regulatory requirements.

F. To the fullest extent practicable and as permitted by law, each agency shall render a decision on an application for waiver within 90 days of receipt of such application by the agency. If the application for waiver is not granted, the agency shall provide the applicant local government with timely written notice of its decision and the reasons for its decision.

G. The executive director of each agency shall be responsible for ensuring implementation of, and compliance with, this Executive Order.

H. Executive agency means any authority of the State of Colorado that is an "agency" pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-3-101.

III. No Creation of Rights

This Executive Order is intended only to improve intergovernmental operations, and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by any party against the State of Colorado, its agencies, officers, employees, or any other person. This Executive Order shall not be used as a basis for legal challenge to statutes, regulations, or other actions or to any inaction of any state agency subject to it.

IV. Duration

This Executive Order shall remain in full force and effect until modified or rescinded by future Executive Order of the Governor. This Executive Order supersedes Executive Order D 0007 94.

More from our Politics archive: "Dan Maes: Did he lose to John Hickenlooper for guv because people thought he was Mexican?"

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun