Following outcry over the dismissal of a lawsuit against Arvada for allegedly violating a 2012 ban on the use of secret ballots, state lawmakers introduced legislation to clarify that any citizen has legal standing to challenge violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.
Colorado Legislature 2014
A second attempt at boosting school board transparency this session won initial approval in the Colorado Senate. SB 14-182 is a weaker version of an unsuccessful House bill that would have required the electronic recording of all portions of school board executive sessions, including attorney-client discussions.
The Senate Education Committee approved a weaker version of the school board transparency bill that died earlier in the legislative session. A requirement that all portions of school board executive sessions be electronically recorded, the most controversial element of the unsuccessful legislation, is not part of the revived proposal.
The House re-passed HB 14-1193, sending it to Gov. John Hickenlooper. If it becomes law, the Colorado Open Records Act will specify research-fee parameters for the first time since it was enacted in 1969.
Two state lawmakers are trying again to give the public a bit more information about local school board discussions that take place behind closed doors.
A school-spending transparency measure is part of HB 14-1292, one of two public education finance bills that passed the House on voice votes.
The sponsor of a 2012 ban on the use of secret ballots by public bodies in Colorado wants to introduce a bill this session making it clear that any citizen has legal standing to challenge violations of the law.
On a 56-8 vote, the Colorado House rejected Senate amendments to a bill that regulates how much the state and local governments can charge to research and compile public records.
For Colorado residents who live far from the state Capital, testifying on proposed legislation wouldn’t necessarily mean a long and sometimes perilous drive to Denver under a bill unanimously approved by a panel of state lawmakers.
A bill that caps research-and-retrieval fees for public records at $30 per hour passed the Colorado Senate with an amendment requiring that costs be the same for everyone.