A bill making its way through the Colorado legislature would significantly expand our knowledge about who is incarcerated in county jails throughout the state, also providing the public and policymakers with a statewide picture.
Rep. Mike Weissman
Following an hour-long floor debate, the Colorado House gave preliminary approval to legislation that would open records on completed police internal affairs investigations.
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.
After trying for three years to make the state judicial branch subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, Rep. Polly Lawrence finally notched a victory when a legislative committee passed an extremely limited version of her perennial bill.
By mandating that searchable digital records must be provided in a searchable format and sortable digital records must be produced in a sortable digital form, Colorado joins some 15 other states whose open records laws so require. This huge advance in government transparency certainly deserves celebration.
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.
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.