By Associated Press - Monday, April 10, 2017

DENVER (AP) - A bill encouraging citizens and state agencies to resolve public records disputes outside court is headed to the governor’s desk.

The Senate passed the bill Monday 35-0. It offers mediation as an option when a citizen wants to challenge a government agency’s denial of his or her request for public records.

Under Colorado’s Open Records Act, such challenges must go to court - an expense that deters many from pursuing their requests.

The new bill keeps that court option. But it also requires the record-keeper to contact the citizen to determine if the dispute can be resolved outside of court, including through mediation.

The bill’s sponsors include Republican Rep. Cole Wist, Democratic Rep. Alec Garnett and Republican Sen. John Cooke.



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