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Legislative Year: 2023 Change

Bill Detail: SB23-286

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Title Access To Government Records
Status Governor Signed (06/06/2023)
Bill Subjects
  • State Government
House Sponsors M. Snyder (D)
M. Soper (R)
Senate Sponsors C. Hansen (D)
House Committee State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs
Senate Committee State, Veterans and Military Affairs
Date Introduced 04/17/2023

The bill makes changes to the Colorado Open Records Act
(CORA) and to record retention requirements for state agencies.
Definitions. The bill modifies the definition of public records
(records) in CORA to clarify that writings made, maintained, or kept by
the state, including any office of the state, are records. The bill also
changes the definition of electronic mail to electronic communication
to encompass all forms of electronic communication.
Format of records for inspection. Current law specifies how a
custodian is required to provide a record for inspection if the record is
available in a digital format that is sortable, searchable, or both. The bill
specifies that if a record is available and can be transmitted in digital
format, the custodian is required to transmit the record by electronic
communication unless otherwise requested by the requester. In addition,
the bill prohibits a custodian from converting a digital record into a
non-searchable or non-sortable format prior to transmission.
Records subject to inspection. CORA currently allows a
custodian to deny a requester's right to inspect certain records on the
ground that disclosure of the record would be contrary to the public
interest. The bill includes in this category the telephone number or home
address that a person provides to an elected official for the purpose of
future communication with the elected official.
The bill specifies that if an elected official is the subject of a
government-authorized investigation into the elected official's alleged
sexual harassment in the workplace, the final report of the investigation
is a public record; except that the identity of any accuser and any
potentially identifiable characteristics of any accuser must be redacted
unless the identity of all accusers is already known to the public.
Transmission and per-page fees for records. Currently, a
custodian may transmit a record to a requester in one of several ways and
may charge the requester for the costs associated with transmitting the
record; except that the custodian may not charge a fee if the record is
transmitted via electronic communication. In addition, a custodian may
currently charge a per-page fee for providing copies of a record. The bill
specifies that the custodian may not charge a per-page fee if the records
are provided in a digital or electronic format.
Electronic payments. The bill requires a custodian to allow
records requesters to pay any fee or deposit associated with the request
via a credit card or electronic payment if the custodian allows members
of the public to pay for any other product or service provided by the
custodian with a credit card or electronic payment.
Records retention requirements. The bill requires all electronic
communications sent to or received by an officer or employee of a state
agency, the contents of which include any discussion of the public
business of the state agency and are relevant to any proceeding in which
the state agency is involved, to be retained for at least the length of the
applicable proceeding. In addition, the bill requires each state agency to
retain all electronic mail messages in its custody or control that may be
responsive to a request for records pursuant to CORA until the request for
records and any subsequent appeals are resolved.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (09/05/2023) (most recent)  
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