Fees for public records, protecting the confidential sources of journalists, the Open Meetings Law. These weren’t the topics that grabbed the biggest headlines during the during the 2014 legislative session. But that doesn’t diminish their importance.
Rep. Cherylin Peniston
A revived school board transparency bill, which barely passed the Colorado Senate last week, cleared the House Education Committee on Monday on a 7-5 party-line vote.
The Senate Education Committee approved a weaker version of the school board transparency bill that died earlier in the legislative session. A requirement that all portions of school board executive sessions be electronically recorded, the most controversial element of the unsuccessful legislation, is not part of the revived proposal.
Two state lawmakers are trying again to give the public a bit more information about local school board discussions that take place behind closed doors.
A controversial bill to require the electronic recording of all portions of school board executive sessions was killed in a Senate committee at the request of the sponsor.
A possible amendment to a controversial bill on school board executive sessions would weaken a key provision of the proposal which mandates the electronic recording of portions of closed-door meetings that currently aren’t recorded because attorney-client privilege has been claimed.
Legislation to add requirements for school board executive sessions passed the Colorado House after a long, emotional attack by opponents who said it would undermine attorney-client relationships as well as education-reform efforts in some districts.
Lawmakers fighting a bill to add requirements for school board executive sessions argued during House debate that the measure would chill important attorney-client discussions.
A perception that some school boards are abusing executive sessions prompted committee passage of a bill in the state legislature aimed at giving the public more information to ascertain whether a closed-door meeting might violate Colorado’s Sunshine Law.
Concerned that some school boards in Colorado are meeting behind closed doors when they shouldn’t be, a state representative has proposed legislation that would give the public more information to gauge whether their elected school officials might be violating the state’s Sunshine Law.