In Colorado, open records aren’t always very open. Another reform effort just fizzled.

The Denver Post: If someone files an open records request and is quoted at $20,000, are the records they seek truly publicly accessible? What if someone from Durango files a request and is told they must submit payment in person in Denver, or by fax machine?

Situations like these make it difficult for people to obtain documents and information that, pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), are meant to be available to the public. High fees and outdated technology commonly act as barriers, but so do lax laws that give sections of government the flexibility to quickly delete certain content, and broad discretion over redaction.

State lawmakers Democratic and Republican alike seem to generally agree that if the goal of CORA is to facilitate public access to government, the law has failed. And for years they have threatened comprehensive reform.

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