All we want for Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa (besides world peace, an end to the pandemic and less partisan rancor) are better open-government laws for Coloradans.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet discussed his proposed Future of Local News Commission Act during a Zoom call with Colorado journalists, saying he shudders to think about what the diminishment of local journalism is doing to American democracy.
When the Fort Collins City Council went into an executive session Oct. 20, the announced purpose was to discuss “broadband issues,” a topic not expressly authorized in the Colorado Open Meetings Law for closed-door deliberations.
Neither the Colorado Open Records Act nor the Colorado Open Meetings Law applies to the constitutionally created state commission that investigates allegations of ethical misconduct involving public officials, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled.
This may come as a surprise to Coloradans who have been quoted hundreds or thousands of dollars by cities, state agencies, school districts and other government entities for “research and retrieval” in response to their public records requests: Not every state allows such charges.
We didn’t think our story would be an open-and-shut case. Neither did we expect such secrecy from a governmental branch whose purpose is to oversee the implementation of laws and enforce them.
The Colorado Supreme Court moved closer to possibly adopting a statewide standard for guiding judges’ decisions to seal or suppress court records in criminal cases.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and 9NEWS teamed up on Monday, Oct. 5, to host an “ask me anything” online session with Arapahoe County Elections Director Peg Perl and Denver Elections Director Jocelyn Bucaro.
Not only is a $50-per-record research fee not authorized in CORA, the building department’s public records policy makes no mention of providing a free hour to requesters. That is an “unequivocal violation of CORA,” said Steve Zansberg, a First Amendment lawyer and president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. The department’s justification for its research-and-retrieval fee is “simply lacking in any legal basis,” he added.
With the livestreaming of some criminal trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, should journalists be permitted to record and share the court proceedings they see on their laptops?