At the start of the Colorado General Assembly session, there was an accusation that a member of the public was not permitted into a press briefing where elected officials were talking about public policy. You can learn more about that here.
In Colorado, like all states, meetings where elected officials are discussing public policy must be open to the public. The law states: “All meetings of two or more members of any state public body at which any public business is discussed or at which any formal action may be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times.”
It also says regular or planned meetings need to be noticed to the public at least 24 hours before it starts. “Any meetings at which… a majority or quorum of the body is in attendance, or is expected to be in attendance, shall be held only after full and timely notice to the public.” C.R.S. 24-6-402
In other words, the public’s business must be done in public.
All new legislators received training about open meetings (check out the slides here). But we think a guide to open meetings should be made available to all legislators and the public, right on the front page of the General Assembly website where you find the calendar of legislative hearings, an ethics tutorial, and information about public records. We sent a letter to Senate President Bill Cadman, Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll, and House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso asking for website addition.
Want to learn more about open meetings and open records? Check our partners at the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. Their website includes transparency news, as well as a great guide to Colorado’s open government laws.