After trying for three years to make the state judicial branch subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, Rep. Polly Lawrence finally notched a victory when a legislative committee passed an extremely limited version of her perennial bill.
For the third consecutive year, a committee of lawmakers discussed whether the administrative records of the state’s judicial branch should be subject to the Colorado Open Records Act. This time, the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee didn’t kill Rep. Polly Lawrence’s proposal as it did in 2016 and 2017. At least not yet.
A bill to modernize Colorado’s open-records law cleared its first legislative hurdle, but lawmakers added amendments that could be broadly interpreted to allow the withholding of some records currently 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.
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.
Lawmakers rejected a proposal to treat the administrative records of people who work for Colorado’s judicial branch like the records of those who work for the executive and legislative branches and all local governments in Colorado.
While lawmakers consider whether to make the state public defender’s office subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, the judicial branch is in the process of writing a new set of rules governing access to most of its administrative records.