Time runs out on transparency bill at Capitol

Late discussion over amendments ends proposed legislation

House Bill 1252, legislation that would have required more detailed financial reporting in the form of searchable databases of all revenues and expenditures at many higher education institutions, was left unfinished Wednesday as the Colorado General Assembly ended its 2012 session.

Tanya Kelly-Bowry, University of Colorado vice president for government relations, said that while the bill was debated on the House floor on Monday, an amendment to the bill was proposed. It would have made the bill applicable only to the state’s four major research institutions, including CU. Previously, the bill would have required more detailed financial reporting from most public and private higher education institutions in the state.

Rep. B.J. Nikkel, the bill’s sponsor, withdrew the amendment; the higher number of institutions addressed in the bill would have increased projected costs for the reporting of data.

Because the bill would have required more than the remaining two days in the legislative session in order to be heard on multiple readings in the house and senate, the bill died on the calendar.

The bill in part inspired discussion by the CU Board of Regents earlier in the legislative session. Regent Sue Sharkey in April introduced the Support for Transparency and Accountability resolution, which endorsed CU’s new Accountability Data Center as a convenient, central access point for details on the university’s finances, academic practices and personnel. The resolution as passed by the regents did not specifically refer to House Bill 1252.