For those concerned about access to government records in Colorado, the 2022 legislative session was notable for what didn’t happen — the introduction of a bill addressing frustrating issues such as expensive fees, email retention and slow responses by law enforcement agencies.
Sen. John Cooke
One change will impact the release of body-worn and dashboard camera footage, and another might help mitigate the loss of public information caused by the encryption of police radio transmissions. Two additional provisions address public access to records of completed police internal affairs investigations and lists of officers who have credibility issues.
The state health department could dispose of a former high-ranking employee’s emails because the records retention schedule for state agencies gives officials the discretion to decide which emails are important enough to keep. The Colorado Open Records Act also doesn’t provide any meaningful guidance about the retention of public records.
A final Senate vote moved Colorado closer to joining other states that allow public access to records of completed law enforcement internal affairs investigations. HB 19-1119 is now on Gov. Jared Polis’ desk.
A Colorado Senate committee advanced legislation that would open records on completed law enforcement internal affairs investigations.
Worried about “reducing transparency” in rural Colorado communities that still lack broadband, Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill that would have phased out the required publication of certain county financial information in newspapers.
Colorado’s newspaper industry is fighting proposed state legislation that would phase out the required publication of county public notices.
State lawmakers advanced legislation that would require the Colorado Department of Corrections to let crime victims and prosecutors know the locations of inmates who are incarcerated out of state.
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.
A required “cooling-down period” aimed at resolving open-records disputes without litigation continued its easy journey in the Colorado legislature.