The House moved quickly to advance legislation making it clear that any person has legal standing to challenge violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.
Open Meetings Laws
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.
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.
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.
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.
A judge in Jefferson County has thrown out a citizen’s lawsuit against Arvada for using secret ballots to fill a vacant council seat, ruling that he lacks legal standing to sue the city for violating that aspect of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.
A controversial bill to require the electronic recording of all portions of school board executive sessions was killed in a Senate committee at the request of the sponsor.
A possible amendment to a controversial bill on school board executive sessions would weaken a key provision of the proposal which mandates the electronic recording of portions of closed-door meetings that currently aren’t recorded because attorney-client privilege has been claimed.
Legislation to add requirements for school board executive sessions passed the Colorado House after a long, emotional attack by opponents who said it would undermine attorney-client relationships as well as education-reform efforts in some districts.