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Nonsubstantive Emails And Open Meetings Law

Concerning a clarification under the Colorado open meetings law of the requirements governing communication by electronic mail that does not relate to the substance of public business.
2021 Regular Session
State Government
Bill Summary

Under current provisions of the Open Meetings Law (OML), if elected officials use electronic mail to discuss pending legislation or other public business among themselves, the electronic mail constitutes a meeting that is subject to the OML's requirements. The act substitutes the word "exchange" for the word "use" in describing the type of electronic mail communication that triggers the application of the OML.

The act also clarifies existing statutory provisions to specify that electronic mail communication between elected officials that does not relate to the merits or substance of pending legislation or other public business is not a meeting for OML purposes. Under the act, the type of electronic communication that also does not constitute a meeting for OML purposes includes electronic communication regarding scheduling and availability as well as electronic communication that is sent by an elected official for the purpose of forwarding information, responding to an inquiry from an individual who is not a member of the state or local public body, or posing a question for later discussion by the public body. The act defines the term "merits or substance" to mean any discussion, debate, or exchange of ideas, either generally or specifically, related to the essence of any public policy proposition, specific proposal, or any other matter being considered by the governing entity.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

  • All Versions (7 )
    Date Bill Type Documents
    04/07/2021 Signed Act PDF
    03/29/2021 Final Act PDF
    03/23/2021 Rerevised PDF
    03/22/2021 Revised PDF
    03/02/2021 Reengrossed PDF
    03/01/2021 Engrossed PDF
    02/16/2021 Introduced PDF

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