Colorado database records bill dies, but stakeholders hope to work on a compromise

Opposition from a state agency and several local governments Wednesday 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.

The demise of SB 16-037, however, won’t end efforts to address long-standing problems with access to digital records under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). One of the bill’s opponents, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, has agreed to convene a stakeholders’ group to work on a possible compromise.

Colorado journalists and the public are too often denied records in a format that allows for searching, sorting and aggregating. Public records kept in databases and spreadsheets are sometimes withheld entirely because governments say they aren’t required to redact confidential information and release public portions. Continue….