Editorial: We hope CORA bill comes back to legislature with amendments

From The Greeley Tribune:  We sure like the idea of HB 1101, a bill that would place Colorado’s State Public Defender’s Office under the purview of the Colorado Open Records Act.

So, while we were happy to hear that Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee shot down the measure recently, we’re hoping that a similar measure rears its head in the future.

The first of two major issues with this bill was the scope. This bill focused on just two entities — the public defender’s office and the Office of Alternate Defense Council. As it turns out, a 2012 ruling (Gleason v. Judicial Watch) exempted not just the defender’s office but the entire judicial department from the reaches of CORA.

Second, the bill included a portion that would have “substantially broadened what is now a narrowly defined provision in CORA that exempts attorney-client communications and attorney work product,” according to the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.

To us, these issues were simply too high of a price to pay to support the bill in its original form.

That said, we’re certainly hoping that a similar bill finds its way into the Legislature soon.

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