Highlights from the blog and news feed
Feb. 23, 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.
El Paso County judge defends sealing of records in Planned Parenthood shooting case
The judge in the Planned Parenthood shooting case defended his sealing of court records, arguing that news organizations did not have a First Amendment or Colorado constitutional right to inspect the records while the police investigation was ongoing.
Shepherd: Flint water crisis a lesson for Colorado email retention
If we don’t take steps to start requiring logical, smart, and efficient archiving methods of government electronic data soon, the next time the citizens of Colorado are victims of government negligence or incompetence, as happened in Flint, Mich., we may have more than government to blame.
Discipline reporting bill OK'd, despite concerns about access to data on school-to-prison pipeline
A school discipline reporting bill cleared the House Education Committee, despite concerns it will limit community organizations’ ability to obtain data needed to analyze factors contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline.
Colorado Supreme Court: County can't shield whistleblowers
From The Aspen Times: Pitkin County’s long-standing policy of protecting the identities of whistleblowers in land-use complaints could come to an end after a decision announced by the Colorado Supreme Court.
Kefalas: It's time to modernize the Colorado Open Records Act
From the Coloradoan (Fort Collins): It is time to modernize the Colorado Open Records Act, or CORA, to ensure that members of the public can access government records in digital formats that allow them to understand and analyze the contents of these public records.
Editorial: Aims should remove itself from HB 1259, a bill we hope ultimately dies
From The Greeley Tribune:We were disappointed to learn of House Bill 1259, which would allow Aims Community College and Colorado Mountain College boards of trustees to meet and make decisions electronically. The bill, it seems to us, flouts the state’s open meetings laws that ensure the public can not only hear what their governing bodies are doing with these colleges but participate in the discussion.
Should disability boards that take taxpayer money have their records open?
From FOX31 (Denver): Ever since last December and the release of the Rocky Mountain Human Services Audit — some have wondered — should Community Centered Boards (CCBs) have their records released to the public.
Editorial: Marijuana Enforcement Division's absurd retreat on open records
From The Denver Post: Lawmakers need to rectify an inexcusable situation at the Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue. The agency refuses to release basic ownership information for marijuana businesses without exorbitant fees — fees that don’t exist when the public retrieves the same information for other licensed businesses, including liquor stores.
From The Gazette (Colorado Springs) Pot was supposed to be regulated like alcohol. Amendment 64 would make an underground trade visible, subjecting it to public scrutiny. Instead, Big Marijuana is a state-coddled industry less transparent than poodle salons.
Erie trustees disagree about open-meetings rules related to emails
From Colorado Hometown Weekly: Several elected officials in Erie raised their voices at a Jan. 26 meeting while discussing whether a previous email discussion between some of them violated state open meeting laws.
Learning who owns Colorado pot businesses not easy or inexpensive
From The Denver Post: Colorado’s marijuana business owners — nearly 1,200 of them — control a quickly growing and powerful industry that is approaching $1 billion in annual sales. Yet basic information about these entrepreneurs is not available to the public without paying hefty fees, in contrast to what is available about owners of other state-licensed businesses.
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