Governor Pence Vetoes Bill That Would Limit Transparency at Private Universities

Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence today vetoed House Enrolled Act 1022, which provides that certain records of a private university police department relating to arrests for criminal offenses are public records and that an educational institution, a governing board of an institution, a delegated office or governing board, or an individual employed by an educational institution as a police officer have the same immunities of the state or state police officers. The bill would have allowed private universities’ police departments to have different standards for public records than public police departments.  

“Throughout my public career, I have long believed in the public’s right to know and a free and independent press. Limiting access to police records in a situation where private university police departments perform a government function is a disservice to the public and an unnecessary barrier to transparency.  While House Enrolled Act 1022 provides for limited disclosure of records from private university police departments, it would limit the application of the Access to Public Records Act following the Court of Appeals decision and result in less disclosure, therefore I have decided to veto the bill. Hoosiers may be assured that my administration will always be vigilant to preserve government accountability and the public’s right to know.” –Governor Mike Pence 

On March 15, 2016, the Court of Appeals of Indiana ruled in ESPN v. University of Notre Dame that Notre Dame’s police department is a “public agency” not a private entity under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act (APRA) and as such is subject to APRA requirements to produce certain documents unless otherwise protected from disclosure by APRA. 

For updates on actions the Governor has taken on bills this session, visit http://in.gov/gov/2016billwatch.htm    

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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