Ending what Sen. John Kefalas called “the most incredible journey,” Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill that modernizes the Colorado Open Records Act by clarifying the public’s right to copies of digital public records.
Colorado Common Cause
An 18-month push to update Colorado’s open-records law for the digital age culminated in the final passage of a bill that clarifies the public’s right to copies of electronic government records in useful file formats that permit analysis of information in those records.
When Colorado’s unaffiliated voters participate in next year’s political party primaries, whether they choose Republican or Democratic ballots should be public information, a panel of state lawmakers affirmed.
Groups representing Colorado journalists and citizen requesters of public records are voicing concerns about a legislative proposal to resolve records disputes through mediation.
Opposition from a state agency and several local governments doomed proposed legislation intended to modernize Colorado’s open-records law by requiring that public records kept in database formats be available to the public in similar formats.
Colorado lawmakers will consider at least four measures to expand public access to information during the legislature’s 2016 session, which convenes Jan. 13.
Signing the CORA reform bill, standardizing fees that governments in Colorado can charge to fill public records requests, Gov. John Hickenlooper cited President Teddy Roosevelt’s fondness for many of the muckraking journalists of his era.
A bill to standardize fees for public records in Colorado was amended by lawmakers to cap charges for filling requests for information at four times the state minimum wage.