What to do about misinformation and disinformation? Sunshine Week panel will examine problems, solutions

A panel of experts will discuss the prevalence of online misinformation and disinformation. The Sunshine Week 2021 event, hosted by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, is 6:30 p.m. Mountain time, Thursday, March 18. The event, “Truth Be Told: The Proliferation of Online Misinformation and Disinformation — And What We Can Do About It,” will…


Sweeping police reform bill passes Colorado Senate 32-1

Colorado’s sweeping police accountability and reform bill passed the state Senate on Tuesday morning with just one Republican vote against it. Senate Bill 217, sponsored by all of the state’s Democratic lawmakers, goes to the House next and is expected to head to the governor’s desk after the session concludes this week. Sen. Rhonda Fields, an Aurora…


Transparency, media literacy measures in Colorado axed in purge of pre-pandemic state legislation

Two transparency bills died Tuesday during a purge of proposals left over from before the coronavirus pandemic forced a suspension of the 2020 Colorado legislative session. Meeting for the first time since Mar. 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 to kill a bipartisan measure that would have required the state’s judicial branch to publish Colorado Supreme Court and…


CFOIC, NFOIC, news organizations file brief supporting The Colorado Independent’s SCOTUS petition

A brief filed Thursday by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and several news and journalism organizations asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a First Amendment records case, deemed “vital to Colorado journalism,” that was brought by The Colorado Independent. Prepared pro bono by attorney Gregg Leslie and the First Amendment Clinic at Arizona…


A bastion of student data privacy, Colorado yields a bit to demands for more openness

Colorado education officials are reconsidering the data privacy rules that for three years in a row have hidden large amounts of student achievement data from public view. With Thursday’s release of state test results, the public has greater ability to see how well certain groups of students perform on state tests compared with their peers than they’ve…


Guest Column: In support of transparency and due process in Colorado

A strong bipartisan majority of Colorado legislators came together during the 2017 legislative session to pass HB 1313 – Civil Forfeiture Reform.

The bill, which adds necessary transparency and due process protections to the asset forfeiture practices of Colorado law enforcement, passed out of both chambers by a combined 81-19 vote and is awaiting signature by Gov. John Hickenlooper.


Colorado lawmakers OK restrictions on medical pot advertising despite First Amendment concerns

First Amendment concerns didn’t prevent a panel of state lawmakers from endorsing a prohibition against medical marijuana advertising that is likely to reach youths under 18.

The House Finance Committee voted 9-2 in favor of HB 16-1363, despite some opinions that it’s an unconstitutional violation of commercial free speech.


Cloudy conditions for Sunshine Week: A pile of paper instead of a spreadsheet

For an ongoing series on race in Colorado, Rocky Mountain PBS investigative reporter Katie Wilcox requested five years of records from six cities on when police stop people for suspicious behavior and other reasons.

Grand Junction provided information from its field interviews at no charge. Pueblo billed Wilcox $20, Colorado Springs asked for $88 and Fort Collins quoted her $60. Denver doesn’t keep the data by race.


Opinion: The right to inspect the public’s records in Colorado

Colorado Sen. John Kefalas and Rep. Dan Pabon deserve thanks from all Coloradans for their valiant, but unsuccessful, effort to guarantee the public's right to inspect its records.

These two legislators introduced Senate Bill 37, which would have clarified that Coloradans enjoy the right to obtain copies of public records in the same digitized format in which government maintains those records. Our tax dollars pay public servants to carry out the people's business, including creating and keeping public records — our records — on our behalf.


Database of Colorado statutes will be free, state lawmakers decide

The state legislature no longer will charge thousands of dollars for copies of its annually updated database of the Colorado Revised Statutes and ancillary information such as source notes and editors’ notes, the Committee on Legal Services decided Friday.

The committee, which includes members of both the House and Senate, also voted to stop copyrighting the ancillary information. There is no copyright on the laws themselves.