Colorado Legislator Wants Judiciary Subject to Open Records Law

State Rep. Polly Lawrence is trying once again to make the administrative records of Colorado’s judicial branch subject to the Colorado Open Records Act.

House Bill 18-1152, introduced earlier this week, is the Roxborough Park Republican’s third consecutive attempt to cover the judiciary under CORA. That doesn’t include her 2015 proposal to make the state public defender’s office comply with the public records law.

“I just think that co-equal branches of government should be held to the same standards as much as possible,” Lawrence told the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. It makes people “uncomfortable,” she said, to hear that the judiciary is not bound by the same public records law as Colorado’s legislative and executive branches.

“The people who pay for everything – the citizens of Colorado – should have access to more information about their government rather than less,” Lawrence said.

The state’s judicial branch is exempt from CORA because of two Colorado court rulings, most recently Gleason v. Judicial Watch in 2012. The Colorado Court of Appeals in that case appeared to leave it to the legislature to define the judiciary as a state agency for open records purposes. Read more…