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HB24-1296

Modifications to the Colorado Open Records Act

Concerning modifications to lessen the burdens of responding to records requests for custodians of records under the "Colorado Open Records Act".
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subjects:
Local Government
State Government
Bill Summary

The bill makes the following changes to the "Colorado Open Records Act" (CORA):

  • Requires a custodian to evaluate a request for public records promptly and for no longer than 2 days. Within the 2-day period the custodian shall notify the requester whether or not any costs or fees that may apply to the request and if extenuating circumstances exist that allow for an extension of the reasonable time to respond to a CORA request (response period). If there are costs or fees that may apply, the response period does not begin until the custodian receives a response from the requester acknowledging acceptance of the costs or fees. Alternatively, a requester may revise their request and the custodian shall evaluate the revised request within the 2-day evaluation period. Otherwise, the response period begins after the custodian has provided notice to the requester.
  • Adds an extenuating circumstance that allows for an extension of the response period when the custodian is not scheduled to work within the response period;
  • If public records are in the custody and control of someone who is not scheduled to work within the response period, a custodian shall notify the requester of the date the person is scheduled to return to work and make best efforts to make responsive records available for inspection within the response period or extended response period, as applicable. The requester may make a subsequent request for additional responsive records, if any, on or after the date the person who is authorized to have custody and control of the records is scheduled to return to work.
  • Allows a custodian to determine that a requester is a vexatious requester, requires the custodian to make a sworn statement in support of the determination to provide to the requester, allows the custodian a 30-day response period when a requester is a vexatious requester, and permits the requester to appeal the determination that the requester is a vexatious requester to the district court;
  • Excludes a mass medium or newsperson from being a vexatious requester;
  • Allows a custodian to determine that a request is made for the direct solicitation of business for pecuniary gain, requires the custodian to make a sworn statement in support of the determination to provide to the requester, allows the custodian a 30-day response period for such a request, permits the requester to appeal the determination that the request is made for the direct solicitation of business for pecuniary gain to the district court, and allows a custodian to charge the requester for the full cost of responding to the request notwithstanding the allowance for the first hour of research and retrieval to otherwise be free of charge and notwithstanding the statutory cap on fees, which otherwise would apply;
  • Prohibits disclosure of any other contact information of students in any public elementary or secondary school in addition to the prohibition of disclosure of addresses and telephone numbers that is in current law;
  • Allows a custodian to deny the right of inspection of public records that are an employee's calendar, unless the public record is an elected official's calendar or the calendar of an employee who is in a leadership position or the request is made by a mass medium or newsperson; and
  • Allows a custodian to treat a CORA request made within 14 calendar days of another CORA request made by the same person as one request for purposes of calculating the fee that the custodian may charge to the requester for research and retrieval of responsive public records.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

Sponsors

Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Rep. C. Kipp, Rep. M. Soper
Sen. J. Marchman

Sponsor

Co-sponsor

Upcoming Schedule

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The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details