Transparency advocates warn bill hampers challenges to executive session violations

Complete Colorado: Open government advocates say a bill making its way through the House of Representatives would water down Colorado’s open meeting laws when it comes to local elected bodies informing constituents about conversations behind closed doors.

House Bill 23-1259, sponsored by Adams and Jefferson County Democrat Lindsey Daugherty and Weld County Republican Gabe Evans, would create a cumbersome new process for anyone wishing to challenge public entities, such as school boards or city councils, as to whether proper notice about executive sessions was given.  Challengers could also face large reimbursements if a court deems they did not meet those requirements.

Evans said when he signed onto the bill, he did not expect the language of the final draft to have such a “chilling” effect on the press and constituents who wish to challenge misdoings by their local governing boards.

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