DENVER — Governor John Hickenlooper has vetoed a bill that would have restricted public access to autopsy records.
SB 18 – 223 would have restricted the release of autopsy records of minors in Colorado.
The legislation was supported by some coroners in the state as well as some families of victims. The legislation was opposed by many journalists including the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
.@GovofCO VETOES SB 223, which would have closed public access to child autopsy reports! “An informed public has societal benefits for all at-risk children, present and future.” #coleg #copolitics #opengov
— Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition (@CoFOIC) June 1, 2018
“History shows that bringing tragedies to the public’s attention is the greatest catalyst for public policy change,” Hickenlooper wrote in his veto letter.
FOX31 Political Reporter Joe St. George spoke to the governor prior to his decision about his thinking on open records laws and this bill:
AUTOPSY BILL: I asked the Gov. about whether he intends to sign or veto a bill banning journalists (or making it a lot harder at the very least) from requesting autopsies of minors. We discussed his role of open records. Lots of good journalism has come from open records #coleg pic.twitter.com/2IiYXXsnjS
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) May 10, 2018