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Cost concern delays vote on security warnings

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DENVER — A proposal to require radiation alerts and privacy alerts at public buildings using security screenings hit a snag Friday when state senators postponed a decision until they can determine how much the disclosure warnings would cost.

The proposal would require notices at airports and other facilities that require people to pass through metal detectors, body scanners or other security devices for entry.

Its sponsor, Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg, said the public deserves to know more about screenings and what the options are if they decline a screening — even if the only option is not to enter.

"People need to know what these things do," Lundberg said.

Lundberg's proposal would put Colorado far beyond federal notice requirements for security disclosures.

The spread of full-body imaging at airports has prompted worries nationwide about what the machines do and how the images are used. The U.S. Senate approved a measure last month to prohibit anyone with access to the scanned body images from photographing or disseminating those images.

The Colorado proposal to post more information about security screenings cleared a Senate committee despite concerns by some that it would burden small airports and county buildings. When the bill came before the full Senate Friday, cost concerns flared again.

Democratic Leader John Morse successfully pushed to change the bill so the state would have to reimburse local governments for producing the disclosure notes.

"If this is a good idea, then the state ought to pick up that cost," Morse said.

The Democratic-controlled Senate then voted to postpone a final decision until learning what the disclosures could cost.

Lundberg insisted his bill wouldn't burden small airports and government buildings with disclosure costs.

"It can be as simple as an 8½-by-11 sheet of paper taped to a wall," Lundberg said.

Lundberg called the delay a setback but said he's not giving up hope the Legislature will eventually agree to the disclosures.

"Security screenings have become ubiquitous," Lundberg said. "This bill just says, 'tell the citizens what you know about the process."