Highlights from the blog and news feed
Mar. 11, 2016
Newsletter of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, a nonpartisan alliance of journalists, civic organizations and engaged citizens dedicated to ensuring the transparency of state and local governments in Colorado by promoting freedom of the press, open courts and open access to government records and meetings.
Database of Colorado statutes will be free, state lawmakers decide
The state legislature no longer will charge thousands of dollars for copies of its annually updated database of the Colorado Revised Statutes and ancillary information such as source notes and editors’ notes, the Committee on Legal Services decided.
Database records bill dies, but stakeholders hope to work on a compromise
Opposition from a state agency and several local governments doomed proposed legislation intended to modernize Colorado’s open-records law by requiring that public records kept in database formats be available to the public in similar formats.
From Aspen Public Radio:The identity of the so-called whistleblower and citizen complaint were made public after the district court was ordered to release documents demanded by property owner Elesabeth Shook.
Kodrich: Journalists' open-records work should always take the 'Spotlight'
From the Coloradoan (Fort Collins): We need watchdogs to keep their eyes on powerful institutions in society. Let’s face it, the powerful always prefer to do their business out of public view, and would rather not be bothered by those pesky reporters acting on behalf of the public.
Audit finds sloppy record keeping by Independent Ethics Commission
From The Colorado Independent:Sloppy record keeping. Failure to follow the state’s open meetings and open records laws. Baffling instructions to anyone brave enough to file a complaint. Those are a few of the charges the state’s auditor lobbed at Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission, the body that oversees the state’s ethics laws.
Navarro: Require public notice for school administrator pay hikes
From The Pueblo Chieftain: House Bill 1162 would require advance public notice of proposed salary increases for administrators of low-performing public education entities. If passed, the bill will require a public notice of at least seven days before the governing board meeting at which the proposed salary increase would be discussed or voted on.
From the Post Independent (Glenwood Springs): Colorado Mountain College’s governing board would be allowed to make decisions on certain “routine” matters via email under a bill that’s been introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives.
Portland trip raises open meetings questions for Boulder council
From the Daily Camera (Boulder): Whether the Boulder City Council’s planned three-day trip to Portland, Ore., falls under the auspices of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law depends on how closely it is tied to the council’s policy-making function.
Aspen housing authority considers implications of open-records ruling
From the Aspen Daily News: Officials at the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority — where enforcement is based often on neighbors’ tips — are weighing the implications of a recent state Supreme Court decision upholding a Pitkin County woman’s right to find out who called in a complaint about a construction project on her property.
Editorial: Colorado legislature deals a double blow to public access
From The Denver Post: A state Senate committee this week decided that a non-profit may function as a surrogate government agency, with 85 to 95 percent of its funding consistently coming from public sources, and yet will not have to honor requests under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). A bill that would have subjected such entities to CORA was tabled under heavy fire.
From The Durango Herald: The Colorado Open Records Act clearly outlines citizens’ right to access public files created and held by government agencies. However, the law’s language does not presently articulate that those records must be made available in their original digital form if requested, and while some agencies do provide that level of access, too many do not.
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