Wrap-up: Colorado legislature again shuns CORA cost reform in 2023 session but removes some obstacles for records requesters

by Jeffrey A. Roberts, CFOIC Executive Director, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, May 9, 2023

Senate Bill 23-286, which passed on the General Assembly’s final day Monday, prohibits state agencies and local governments from requiring requesters to show identification to get CORA records. It obligates records custodians to accept credit cards or electronic payments for records if they already take them for other products and services, and it bars per-page charges for records provided in digital formats such as PDFs.

Concerning government transparency, freedom-of-information and First Amendment issues, the legislature likewise passed a bill restricting the government’s use of non-disclosure agreements and it approved measures to allow more scrutiny of the judicial branch, including a bill requiring the livestreaming of criminal court proceedings.

CFOIC had hoped the CORA bill would curb the fees government entities can charge to process records requests, especially after an expected bill on this topic never materialized in 2022. We’ve sounded the alarm about expensive CORA charges for years and pointed out last summer that soaring inflation could boost the maximum hourly research-and-retrieval rate — currently $33.58 — to $40 or more when Legislative Council recalculates it on July 1, 2024, as the law requires.

Read more here: https://coloradofoic.org/wrap-up-colorado-legislature-again-shuns-cora-cost-reform-in-2023-session-but-removes-some-obstacles-for-records-requesters/#:~:text=Senate%20Bill%2023%2D286%2C%20which,identification%20to%20get%20CORA%20records