Colorado lawmakers wrap 2021 session with mixed marks on transparency scorecard

It was a session of highs and lows, as far as Colorado bills concerning government transparency. Among the positive developments in 2021: Legislators passed two police accountability bills that require more transparency from law enforcement agencies. On the downside: Lawmakers approved a bill allowing public bodies to disclose one finalist when choosing a city manager,…

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Public should have insight into hiring of university president, says brief signed by Colorado coalition and NFOIC

A Colorado Court of Appeals ruling set a “dangerous precedent” when it sided with the University of Colorado’s decision to withhold the names and applications of all six candidates interviewed for the job of university president. That’s according to a brief filed by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and signed by the National Freedom…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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.

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