The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission, which investigates allegations of ethical misconduct involving public officials, is writing its own rules of access to public records that differ in many respects from the Colorado Open Records Act.
Colorado open records
With the backing of police chiefs and sheriffs statewide, two law enforcement transparency bills won easy, unanimous passage in a Colorado Senate committee.
A bill to let one-time offenders petition to seal the public records of their misdemeanors died in a House committee following opposition from prosecutors, victims’ advocates and law enforcement officials.
An amendment to HB 14-1193 removes the minimum wage requirement and instead caps research and retrieval fees at $30 per hour with a requirement that the first hour be provided for free.
An amendment to be proposed caps the hourly rate at $25 for researching and compiling public records, with the maximum rate adjusted for inflation every five years. More significantly, the first two hours would be free.
HB 14-1047, intended to stop Internet sites from charging people to remove booking photos, picked up support from Republican lawmakers as it moved to the Colorado Senate on a bipartisan 45-19 House vote.
Despite First Amendment concerns, the Colorado House approved Rep. KC Becker’s bill to stop Internet sites from charging fees to take down booking photos.
Rep. Joe Salazar’s proposed legislation to regulate how much governments can charge for public records has been introduced in the Colorado House as HB 14-1193.
A Colorado legislative committee advanced a bill aimed at stopping Internet sites from publishing mug shots and then charging fees to take them down.
Winners of open-records lawsuits in Colorado are entitled to attorneys’ fees, even if they succeed in getting only one record released, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled last week.