|Case Date:||December 26, 1984|
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1984. AGO 84-27. December 26, 1984Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 84-27 AG Alpha No. HE HE AGANX Dr. Blenda J. Wilson, Executive Director Colorado Commission on Higher Education Colorado Heritage Center 1300 Broadway, 2d Floor Denver, CO 80203 RE: Applicability of Colorado Open Meetings and Open Records Acts to state institutions of higher education.Dear Dr. Wilson: This opinion letter is in response to your letter of November 1, 1984 in which you asked about the applicability of the Colorado Open Records and Open Meetings Acts to the state institutions of higher education in Colorado. QUESTION PRESENTED AND CONCLUSION Do the Colorado Open Meetings Law, sections 24-6-401 to 402, C.R.S. (1982) (hereinafter the Open Meetings Law or Open Meetings Act) and the Colorado Open Records Act, sections 24-72-201 to 206, C.R.S. (1982) (hereinafter the Open Records Act) apply to the state institutions of higher education in the State of Colorado? Applicable Colorado Supreme Court precedent requires me to conclude that unless the legislature amends the Opening Meetings and the Open Records Acts to apply expressly to the state institutions of higher education, these institutions are free to adopt their own procedures governing the conduct of their meetings and disclosure of their records to the public. They need not comply with the procedures set forth in the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts. ANALYSIS In order to determine whether the Open Meetings or the Open Records Acts apply to the state institutions of higher education in the State of Colorado, it is necessary to analyze article VIII, section 5 of the Colorado Constitution. This section of the constitution was a referred bill from the general assembly adopted in its current form by the electorate in 1972. Prior to the adoption of what is now article VIII, section 5, only the University of Colorado and its governing board, the regents of the University of Colorado (hereinafter the regents) had autonomous status under the Colorado Constitution. Colo. Const. art. IX, sec. 14 (repealed November 7, 1972, 1972 Colo. Sess. Laws 645); art. VIII, sec. 5 (amended November 7, 1972, 1972 Colo. Sess. Laws 644); Report to the Colorado General Assembly: Organization of State...
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