For Coloradans concerned about access to government information, the 2017 legislative session will be judged by what occurred on the 120th and final day.
Colorado Open Records Act
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.
Legislation to modernize Colorado’s open-records law underwent a significant makeover with little more than a day left in the 2017 session.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation that requires a “cooling-off period” when open-records disputes reach the point where litigation is being considered.
It’s long overdue for one of the absurd practices of some Colorado government offices to end. Specifically, Senate Bill 17-040 has been proposed in the Colorado General Assembly to close a loophole created by officials and bureaucrats avoiding their responsibilities to provide citizens access to the information which everyone always has agreed is public.
A bill to modernize Colorado’s public records law survived a state House panel in a form closer to the way it was introduced earlier in the legislative session.
With Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signature on House Bill 17-1021, Colorado no longer will treat wage-law violations as “trade secrets” that must be kept from the public.
A required “cooling-down period” aimed at resolving open-records disputes without litigation continued its easy journey in the Colorado legislature.
Colorado’s state auditor would be authorized to investigate tips about kickbacks, bribes and other state government fraud under a bill unanimously approved by a House committee.
Senate Bill 17-040 is about clarifying the public’s right to obtain digitized government records in useful file formats that make it easier to analyze the information contained in those records. But as passed by the Colorado Senate, the bill is now about other things as well.