The $25 billion budget bill that passed the Colorado Senate includes a relatively miniscule appropriation for a new position in the Attorney General’s office to help with a growing number of requests for public records.
public records request
The Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act isn’t as well known or as well understood as its sister statute, the Colorado Open Records Act. That’s why the CFOIC assembled a panel of experts to discuss the law that governs the release of criminal justice records – and to provide tips and workarounds for getting the records you want.
As our friends at the Sunlight Foundation recently wrote, “Our legally-protected access to public email records – the most voluminous source of official written records – is failing.” That’s true here in Colorado.
Hoping to restore public confidence in law enforcement, Colorado lawmakers unveiled a legislative package that includes four bills focused on police transparency.
The Jefferson County teacher’s union has taken legal steps to block the Jeffco school district from releasing additional names of high school teachers who collectively called in sick last September.
HB 15-1101 would make the records of the state public defender and the office of alternate defense counsel subject to CORA, except for privileged attorney-client records, as defined by the proposal.
For the CFOIC, revisiting 2014 reveals a somewhat troubling string of stories about issues and problems affecting government transparency in Colorado. Consider them one by one and you might not be all that concerned. But put them in a list and you could reasonably conclude that open government in the Centennial State is still a work in progress.
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.
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.