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.
Gov. John Hickenlooper
When Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17-040, he ratified a long-overdue update to the Colorado Open Records Act, which hadn’t been modernized in more than 20 years. A separate CORA bill signed by Hickenlooper changes the open-records law in a subtler way. Here are some things to know about both measures, which go into effect Aug. 9.
For Coloradans concerned about access to government information, the 2017 legislative session will be judged by what occurred on the 120th and final day.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation that requires a “cooling-off period” when open-records disputes reach the point where litigation is being considered.
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.
Parents and advocates celebrated the signing of SB 16-038 at the Denver-based community-centered board whose financial woes motivated state lawmakers’ efforts to impose transparency measures on the 20 nonprofits that coordinate services for Coloradans with disabilities.
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.
Unlike last year’s General Assembly, which amended both the open-records and open-meetings laws, state legislators in 2015 were somewhat quieter on matters affecting government transparency and the flow of information in Colorado. Still, significant new measures are expected to be signed into law. A few others didn’t make it.
Two months after a Jefferson County judge dismissed a citizen’s lawsuit against Arvada for using secret ballots to replace a City Council member, the governor signed legislation to ensure that anyone can legally challenge violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.
Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill intended, in part, to shine more light on public-private partnerships to finance future transportation projects but also signed an executive order implementing the transparency provisions of the legislation.