- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

DENVER (AP) - Coloradans whose requests for public records are denied may soon be able to seek a mediator’s help.

A bill offering mediation is going to the Senate floor after that chamber’s State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee approved it 5-0 Wednesday.

When a state agency denies a records request, a citizen or news organization can challenge that denial in court. But the expense of a lawsuit deters many, if not most, from persevering.

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 House already has passed the bill, which is sponsored by Republican Rep. Cole Wist, Democratic Rep. Alec Garnett and Republican Sen. John Cooke.

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