For Coloradans concerned about access to government information, the 2017 legislative session will be judged by what occurred on the 120th and final day.
A bill to modernize Colorado’s public records law survived a state House panel in a form closer to the way it was introduced earlier in the legislative session.
Senate Bill 17-040 is about clarifying the public’s right to obtain digitized government records in useful file formats that make it easier to analyze the information contained in those records. But as passed by the Colorado Senate, the bill is now about other things as well.
The Colorado Senate endorsed a heavily amended version of the open-records modernization bill, adding a broad exemption to bar the disclosure of records that “could endanger public safety or the operation of critical infrastructure.”
The open-records modernization bill survived the Senate Appropriations Committee, but lawmakers retained amendments that could let governments withhold some records now available for public inspection.
It happened to be Groundhog Day when a House committee killed Rep. Polly Lawrence’s latest effort to make administrative records of Colorado’s judicial branch subject to the state’s open records law.
State lawmakers could substantially reform the Colorado Open Records Act during the 2017 legislative session.
Will 2016 be remembered as the year we realized just how much our democracy depends on an informed citizenry? The fake news epidemic was one of many issues the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition highlighted in 2016 or wrote about on its blog.
A Republican state lawmaker said she will try again during the 2017 legislative session to make Colorado’s judicial branch subject to the state’s open-records law.
There’s only one location where a non-lawyer can view and request copies of all civil court documents from the Integrated Colorado Courts E-Filing System. Attorneys who subscribe to ICCES can look up civil court documents on their laptops, but you can’t. And even though many courthouses have public terminals, those only let you call up civil filings from that particular district.