Transparent Government Remains Critical to Colorado’s Democracy

The Centennial State must meet the moment and modernize its trailblazing transparency laws 

DENVER – A lawsuit has recently been filed against the Colorado House of Representatives and its leaders, alleging a series of violations of the Colorado Open Meetings Law (COML) that barred the public from the legislative process. Colorado Common Cause is eager for a resolution to this action and supports the expansion and strengthening of current open meetings laws to continue ensuring our democracy is done in public view, for all to see. 

“As a key architect of Colorado’s Sunshine Laws, we know an open and transparent legislative process is key to public trust and good governance,” said Aly Belknap, executive director of Colorado Common Cause. “This moment is an opportunity for elected officials to come together to modernize how Colorado Open Meetings Law can best guide the legislative process in the 21st century.” 

COML requires the “formation of public policy (be) public business and may not be conducted in secret.” Coloradans have a fundamental right to know the policy decisions their representatives are making on their behalf and how their representatives come to those decisions. As a national leader paving the way for transparent government, it is imperative the state holds itself to the standards it established by continuing to conduct its business in the public eye, especially as technology and modes of communication continue to evolve.  

The state should take steps to improve transparency in police conduct, the cost of obtaining public records, and virtual access to government proceedings.   

“Colorado Common Cause will continue to champion a state government that is open, transparent, and responsive to the people of Colorado,” added Belknap. “We look forward to working with partners to support these expansion and modernization efforts.” 

The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition’s Open Government Guide is a powerful tool for Coloradans to learn more about how the Colorado Open Records Act, the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, and the Colorado Open Meetings Law work to achieve government transparency.