Writing that “sunshine on uncomfortable and painful topics such as youth deaths can lead to more positive outcomes for other youths,” Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill that would have closed public access to autopsy reports on minors
Colorado Press Association
Three journalist associations and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition are urging Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto Senate Bill 18-223, which would close public access to autopsy reports on minors.
Unlike a year ago, when state lawmakers improved access to public records, the 2018 session of the Colorado General Assembly was marked by the passage of legislation that will significantly hinder the public’s right to know if it’s signed into law.
With little discussion in public, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission formally enacted records access rules that mostly mirror the Colorado Open Records Act but also assert the commission’s authority to “adopt a public records policy that deviates from CORA.”
Colorado lawmakers are poised to close public access to autopsy reports on minors, bowing to a request from county coroners who say disclosure of the records unnecessarily invades the privacy of families and encourages copycat teen suicides.
An amended bill endorsed by the Colorado House no longer opens records on police internal affairs files, but essentially encourages their disclosure once an investigation is complete.
A bill to require public disclosure of police internal affairs records cleared its first legislative hurdle on a 7-4 vote in the House Judiciary Committee.
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission has substantially revised its proposed records access rules in response to criticism from news media organizations, citizens and the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.
State lawmakers took another step toward phasing out the required publication of county public notices in Colorado newspapers.
For the third consecutive year, a committee of lawmakers discussed whether the administrative records of the state’s judicial branch should be subject to the Colorado Open Records Act. This time, the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee didn’t kill Rep. Polly Lawrence’s proposal as it did in 2016 and 2017. At least not yet.