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Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition

Highlights from the blog and newsfeed
Jan. 17, 2014
Newsletter of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, a nonpartisan alliance of groups and individuals 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.

Steve Zansberg succeeds Tom Kelley as CFOIC president

Steven D. Zansberg was elected CFOIC president on Wednesday. He succeeds Thomas B. Kelley, who has presided over the coalition’s board and membership since 1997.

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Track freedom-of-information bills on CFOIC's new legislature page

A new page on the website of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition lets you track bills in the state legislature that could affect the flow or availability of information in Colorado.

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Amendment would remove absolute subpoena protection from journalist's shield bill

Journalists in Colorado would have stronger, but not absolute, protections against being compelled to reveal confidential sources and unreported information under an amendment to a reporter’s shield measure proposed by the bill’s sponsor.

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Senator outlines need for a stronger reporter's shield law in Colorado

State Sen. Bernie Herpin quoted 18th-century English judge William Blackstone in explaining his reasons for introducing a bill to strengthen the Colorado law that protects a journalist’s confidential sources.

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Bill targeting mug-shot websites is introduced

HB 14-1047 would require that commercial websites remove a booking photo free of charge if the arrested person makes a request in writing and that person was not charged with a crime, charges were dropped or the person was acquitted.

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CORA fees proposal among legislation to watch in 2014

A plan to regulate fees for public records statewide is expected to be one of at least three bills introduced during the 2014 legislative session that would affect the flow or availability of information in Colorado.

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Editorial: Three bills to watch

From The Durango Herald: Colorado’s state Legislature reconvened Wednesday, and while this session does not promise to be as boisterous or controversial as the last, it should have highlights. Among those are three bills that, taken together, amount to a bipartisan push to bolster the state’s commitment to defending freedom of information.

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Opinion: Education spending transparency doesn't require a massive tax hike

From The Tribune (Greeley): By Ben DeGrow The Independence Institute

Colorado potentially faces a wasted opportunity in undertaking a push for greater school financial transparency. If state leaders talk up transparency as a new project and in vague terms, then they may miss the benefit of lessons already learned and fail to create a genuinely useful online tool.

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Results of Sky Sox survey still locked away

From The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Moving Sky Sox baseball stadium downtown no longer is part of the City for Champions plan but all information gathered to support that project is locked away.

Colorado Spring’s city attorney will not release the results of a community survey taken by the city last summer to gauge public interest in a downtown baseball stadium even though plans to move Sky Sox stadium downtown were dumped in December.

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Editorial: Stop keeping secrets about judge's paid absence

From The Coloradoan (Fort Collins):  Imagine you and your neighbor have hired an independent contractor to plow your shared driveway every time it snows this winter. One snowy morning, you notice a driver from a different company is out doing the work. You inquire to your neighbor, who tells you that the original contractor hired is no longer on the job but still will be paid. In fact, you find out he’s been paid each week for a month but hasn’t done any of the work. Your neighbor concealed that information from you and won’t give you an explanation now, leaving you wondering whether the contractor is ill, simply isn’t doing the job to standards or might have done something improper. All you know is that you’re paying someone to do a job he isn’t doing but you have no idea why, whether it’s justified or if he’ll ever be back on the job.

It’s deceptive and a breach of trust in the partnership with your neighbor.

And this is what’s happening now in our Colorado judicial system.

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Colorado Springs City Council holds meeting that wasn’t publicly posted ahead of time

From the Colorado Springs Independent: Mayor Steve Bach apparently told some City Council members he wants to fire one of the Council’s employees, which prompted City Council President Keith King to call a Council meeting that wasn’t publicly posted ahead of time. That possibly could violate the state open meetings law.

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Colorado Supreme Court denies theater shooting victims access to files

From The Denver Post: The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld a judge’s order preventing victims of the Aurora movie theater attack from learning more about the investigation.

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The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition's efforts to protect the FOI rights of Coloradans rely on membership dues, grants and gifts. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation or becoming a member. Thank you!
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