Colo.: Proposed bill revives state treasurer’s demands for access to PERA records

Colorado lawmakers are making an effort to revive the state treasurer's demands for unfettered access to all records of the state's largest pension plan.

House Bill 17-1114, sponsored by Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, and Sen. Jake Tate, R-Centennial, would give the state treasurer access to any information kept by the Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA).

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Boulder joins national effort to rethink open data, citizen engagement

Boulder will take part in a national effort to help cities exchange best practices regarding the use of data to improve municipal government.

The effort is called What Works Cities, and it's initiative of ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group Bloomberg Philanthropies.

What Works Cities launched in April 2015 as a way to help midsize cities — defined as having populations between 100,000 and 1 million — "enhance their use of data and evidence to improve services, inform local decision-making and engage residents."

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CO: No Charges In City Attorney Open Records Case

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said Friday his office will not be filing criminal charges against former Denver City Attorney Scott Martinez or any other members of the city attorney’s office in connection with the curious handling of a Colorado Open Records Act request from 2015.

“I don’t think the left hand knew what the right hand was doing,” Morrissey told CBS4. “They should have turned this over to you (CBS4). I believe it was wrong.”

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Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition: State board of ed ‘politicized’ approval process for data requests

Education researchers and advocates are worried that a newly formalized approval process will make it harder to get information needed to adequately evaluate existing K-12 programs and to recommend innovations.

The process, adopted by the State Board of Education in September to implement a 2016 state law on student data privacy, requires that the elected seven-member board approve all outside requests for student-level data.

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CO: Weld County commissioners quarrel over utility company meetings, document release

After one county commissioner released confidential records to protest county meetings with utility companies, the rest of the commissioners are left scratching their heads.

Commissioner Sean Conway recently released emails, which detailed the county’s attorney giving the board legal advice before a planned September meeting with Xcel Energy, alleging the meeting was a kind of unethically private correspondence called ex parte communication. The emails went public this week when a conservative blog published them.

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Open-government wins and losses in the 2016 Colorado legislative session

Colorado lawmakers in 2016 rejected an opportunity to bring the state’s open-records law into the 21st century.

They also decided that wage-law violations should remain “trade secrets” and that internal affairs files on judicial branch employees should remain confidential, which isn’t the case for other state government workers.

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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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Colorado senate committee passes bill to encourage state government whistleblowers

A bill to encourage state government whistleblowers won the endorsement of a Senate committee Monday, despite fears that private information could be made vulnerable to security breaches.

Under the amended version of SB 16-056, state employees couldn’t be disciplined for revealing confidential information while reporting instances of waste, mismanagement of public funds or abuses of authority to the state attorney general’s office.

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