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h_sa_2017a_2017-03-16t10:19:34z0 Hearing Summary

Date: 03/16/2017

Location: LSB A

Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB17-1177



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS, & MILITARY AFFAIRS


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment A). The motion p

Refer House Bill 17-1177, as amended, to the Commi
Pass Without Objection

PASS







10:19 AM -- HB17-1177



Representative Wist and Representative Garnett, co-prime bill sponsors, presented House Bill 17-1177. The bill makes changes to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). It specifies that any person denied the right to inspect a record or who alleges a violation of the fee provisions of CORA may seek to resolve the dispute through mediation, where both parties evenly split the costs of the mediation process. If the person chooses not to participate in mediation, he or she must give written notice of intent to sue to the custodian of the record no less than three business days before filing a complaint in district court. If the person and the custodian agree to mediation, either party may seek a court order to enforce a written mediation agreement executed by both parties.



If the mediator determines there is a legal question of whether disclosure of the record is prohibited, the mediator may order that the custodian apply to the court to have the dispute settled. If the parties participate in mediation but cannot resolve their dispute without a court action, and the court determines that denial of the CORA request was proper, the court may award court costs and reasonable attorneys fees to the custodian. If the court determines the denial was not proper, the court must award the mediation costs, court costs, and reasonable attorneys fees to the applicant. The provisions of the bill regarding attorneys fees do not apply to any court action initiated by the mediator.



In any action where the parties did not participate in mediation:



• if the court finds the denial was proper and that the applicant's action was frivolous, vexatious, or groundless, the court must award court costs and reasonable attorneys fees to the custodian;

• if the court finds the denial was not proper and the applicant did not request mediation or refused to consent to mediation when requested by the custodian, the court must award court costs and reasonable attorneys fees to the applicant in an amount to be determined by the court but not to exceed $10,000; or

• if the court finds the denial was not proper and the applicant requested mediation but the custodian refused, the court must award a penalty to the applicant not to exceed $100,000, in addition to court costs and reasonable attorneys fees.



In cases when a custodian believes that disclosing a record would do substantial injury to the public interest or when the custodian is unable to determine, after reasonable inquiry, if a record is subject to disclosure, and he or she applies to the court to make a determination, the bill specifies that no court costs or attorneys fees may be awarded against the custodian.



Representative Wist referenced amendment L.001 (Attachment A), which is a strike-below amendment.



17HouseState0316AttachA.pdf17HouseState0316AttachA.pdf



10:26 AM --
Mike Maday, Mediation Association of Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Maday answered questions from the committee.





10:31 AM



Representative Wist and Representative Garnett made comments to the committee.



10:31 AM --
Dianne Criswell, Colorado Municipal League and Colorado Counties, Inc., testified against the bill. Ms. Criswell answered questions from the committee. She stated that the Colorado Municipal League would remove its opposition to the bill with the adoption of amendment L.001. Ms. Criswell said that Colorado Counties, Inc., had not taken a position on amendment L.001.





10:33 AM



Representative Garnett made comments to the committee.



10:33 AM --
Richard Orf, Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill, but in support of amendment L.001.



10:35 AM --
Peg Perl, Colorado Ethics Watch, testified in support of the bill if amended by amendment L.001.



10:38 AM --
Greg Romberg, Colorado Press Association and Colorado Broadcasters Association, testified in support of the bill if amended by L.001.



10:41 AM --
Emily Brumit, Colorado Water Congress, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Brumit answered questions from the committee.



10:43 AM --
Cathy Kipp, Poudre School District, testified in opposition the bill. Ms. Kipp answered questions from the committee.



10:47 AM --
Josh Winkler, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, testified in opposition to the bill.





10:52 AM



Representative Garnett and Representative Wist explained amendment L.001.

BILL: HB17-1177
TIME: 10:57:42 AM
MOVED: Weissman
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment A). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Benavidez
Hooton
Humphrey
Leonard
Melton
Weissman
Williams D.
Lontine
Foote
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





10:58 AM



Representative Wist and Representative Garnett made concluding remarks about the bill. Committee members made comments about the bill.

BILL: HB17-1177
TIME: 10:58:54 AM
MOVED: Weissman
MOTION: Refer House Bill 17-1177, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 9-0.
SECONDED: Humphrey
VOTE
Benavidez
Yes
Hooton
Yes
Humphrey
Yes
Leonard
Yes
Melton
Yes
Weissman
Yes
Williams D.
Yes
Lontine
Yes
Foote
Yes
Final YES: 9 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS














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