Colorado House reaches deal to settle open-meetings lawsuit filed by two Democratic lawmakers

The Denver Post: The Colorado House of Representatives has moved to settle an open-meetings lawsuit filed by two of its members, agreeing to provide more transparency into legislative strategy meetings and private messages between legislators.

The settlement, filed in court Thursday, awaits the approval of the Denver judge overseeing the litigation. But its terms have been agreed upon by the two Democratic lawmakers who filed the suit — Reps. Elisabeth Epps and Bob Marshall — and the institutions they sued: the House, their own House Democratic caucus, its Republican counterpart and the chamber’s three leaders.

Under the terms of the deal, the House’s leaders — Speaker Julie McCluskie, Democratic Majority Leader Monica Duran and Republican Minority Leader Mike Lynch — agreed not to hold meetings involving a majority of legislators or meetings at which formal action may occur unless the public receives advance notice. It’s been common practice for members of one party to gather before a House session or a committee meeting to work out their approach.

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