Editorial: Transparency bill helps public and the cops

The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Transparency in government provides a major distinction between a free society and one in which authorities can destroy individuals in the cover of darkness.

Among 50 states and the District of Columbia, few if any jurisdictions provide less government transparency than does Colorado. Ask any reporter, researcher or private detective who has worked in another state and that person will attest to the flaws in Colorado’s open records laws.

Government secrecy becomes especially dangerous and disturbing when it provides undue cover to authorities in law enforcement, who make decisions that determine whether certain individuals continue to live free or to live at all. In law enforcement, we must always err on the side of transparency for the sake of protecting officers, victims and suspects alike.

For that reason, we applaud State Rep. David Williams, R-Colorado Springs, for championing House Bill 1119. Williams is the only Republican who supported the bill and ensured the one non-Democratic vote needed for the bill to survive and move to the Senate, and we’re not sure why.

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