An 18-month push to update Colorado’s open-records law for the digital age culminated in the final passage of a bill that clarifies the public’s right to copies of electronic government records in useful file formats that permit analysis of information in those records.
A bipartisan bill that underscores a civilian’s right to record police is on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk following the House’s acceptance of a Senate amendment that limits how long someone’s cellphone or other recording device can be held while a search warrant is sought.
A new version of a bill that reinforces a civilian’s right to record police passed the Colorado House on a 47-16 vote.
Privacy concerns posed by drones and other emerging technologies prompted initial passage in the Colorado House of a bill that would make it a crime to photograph or record someone who has a “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
An amended version of a bill that reinforces the public’s right to record police activities won the tentative endorsement of the House Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote.
A bill that underscores the public’s right to record police activities was met with opposition from law enforcement authorities and prosecutors who called the measure overly punitive and worried about its effect on their ability to obtain recordings as evidence in criminal cases.
Hoping to restore public confidence in law enforcement, Colorado lawmakers unveiled a legislative package that includes four bills focused on police transparency.
State lawmakers defeated a bill that would have made the State Public Defender’s Office subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, preferring to let the Colorado Judicial Branch write its own rules for releasing administrative records for that agency and other agencies under its control.
Recent excessive-force allegations involving Denver police have prompted a state legislator to draft a bill that prohibits law-enforcement officers from interfering with anyone who lawfully records incidents involving cops.
For the CFOIC, revisiting 2014 reveals a somewhat troubling string of stories about issues and problems affecting government transparency in Colorado. Consider them one by one and you might not be all that concerned. But put them in a list and you could reasonably conclude that open government in the Centennial State is still a work in progress.