Colorado Governor signs bill requiring ‘cooling-off period’ for CORA disputes

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation Thursday that requires a “cooling-off period” when open-records disputes reach the point where litigation is being considered.

With House Bill 17-1177, someone who is denied records under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) must wait 14 days to challenge the denial in court. During that time, the records custodian for a government entity must speak with the requester in person or by phone in an attempt to resolve the matter.

Rep. Cole Wist, the Centennial Republican who sponsored the measure with Denver Democratic Rep. Alec Garnett, called it a “cooling-off period” during a House committee hearing in March. The required meeting “may last five minutes. It might last five hours,” he said. “The primary purpose here is to facilitate conversations.”

“Transparency without litigation,” Wist tweeted after the bill signing.