The open-records modernization bill survived the Senate Appropriations Committee, but lawmakers retained amendments that could let governments withhold some records now available for public inspection.
Colorado judicial branch
It happened to be Groundhog Day when a House committee killed Rep. Polly Lawrence’s latest effort to make administrative records of Colorado’s judicial branch subject to the state’s open records law.
State lawmakers could substantially reform the Colorado Open Records Act during the 2017 legislative session.
Will 2016 be remembered as the year we realized just how much our democracy depends on an informed citizenry? The fake news epidemic was one of many issues the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition highlighted in 2016 or wrote about on its blog.
A Republican state lawmaker said she will try again during the 2017 legislative session to make Colorado’s judicial branch subject to the state’s open-records law.
There’s only one location where a non-lawyer can view and request copies of all civil court documents from the Integrated Colorado Courts E-Filing System. Attorneys who subscribe to ICCES can look up civil court documents on their laptops, but you can’t. And even though many courthouses have public terminals, those only let you call up civil filings from that particular district.
On matters affecting public information, the General Assembly did little during this year’s session to improve access. The most significant legislative win for government transparency doesn’t actually affect governments.
Lawmakers rejected a proposal to treat the administrative records of people who work for Colorado’s judicial branch like the records of those who work for the executive and legislative branches and all local governments in Colorado.
Colorado lawmakers will consider at least four measures to expand public access to information during the legislature’s 2016 session, which convenes Jan. 13.
The private emails flap was one of many transparency-related stories we highlighted in 2015 or broke ourselves.