A final Senate vote moved Colorado closer to joining other states that allow public access to records of completed law enforcement internal affairs investigations. HB 19-1119 is now on Gov. Jared Polis’ desk.
A Colorado Senate committee advanced legislation that would open records on completed law enforcement internal affairs investigations.
Local governments in Colorado would be encouraged to post meeting notices online, rather than in a designated physical location, under a bipartisan bill approved by a committee of state lawmakers.
Bipartisan legislation designed to fix an “unintended consequence” of the 2014 ballot initiative that opened school district bargaining sessions to the public won unanimous approval Tuesday in the House Education Committee.
Following an hour-long floor debate, the Colorado House gave preliminary approval to legislation that would open records on completed police internal affairs investigations.
A bill to open records on completed police internal affairs investigations cleared its first legislative hurdle, passing the House Judiciary Committee on a 7-4 vote.
Reporters have been more likely to get a no-such-records-exist response since the Colorado legislature in 2016 adopted a simplified and expedited process for sealing the criminal records of defendants who are acquitted or have completed a diversion agreement or a deferred sentence, or their cases are dismissed.
A bill to stop the required publication of certain county financial information in newspapers, similar to a measure vetoed last year by then-Gov. John Hickenlooper, died quickly in the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee.
Following up on a 2018 study showing that Colorado law enforcement departments regularly reject requests for internal affairs files, a University of Denver law student found that agencies in several other states have no problem disclosing such records to the public.
Two words come to mind when looking back at 2018’s government transparency highlights and lowlights in Colorado. Judicial secrecy.