For immediate release:
March 24, 2016
INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. B. Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend) has issued the following statement in the wake of Gov. Mike Pence’s decision to veto House Enrolled Act 1022:
“I am greatly disappointed that Gov. Mike Pence vetoed House Enrolled Act 1022 (HEA 1022), which would have created greater transparency for private university police records. HEA 1022 concerns the records of criminal acts, not accidental claims. In particular, HEA 1022 would have helped victims of rape as well as sexual assault and battery. It was never intended to influence the ESPN lawsuit against the University of Notre Dame. The Indiana Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of ESPN. The case will next go before the Indiana Supreme Court. If the court upholds the appellate court decision, then the new law would naturally have had to be reviewed to ensure it complies with the high court’s decision.
“HEA 1022 had unanimous, bipartisan support with only one vote against it during its entire journey through the Indiana House and Senate. Legislators in both chambers carefully examined the issue in public hearings and in both chambers. Unfortunately, most of the special interests who opposed the bill did not attend those committee hearings nor witness the debates on the bill in both the House and Senate. Yet, those same individuals claim the bill places greater restrictions on access to public records.
“As mentioned above, criminal acts would be considered public records as would accidents with injury. However, minor accidents, with no injuries, would not require private universities to create an additional level of bureaucratic paperwork on those accidents.
“I wish the governor had taken time to talk with the legislators who shepherded the bill through the process. There were as many Republicans as Democrats co-authoring and sponsoring this bill. Perhaps we could have explained to Gov. Pence that HEA 1022 protects the public’s right to know. Unfortunately, he did not find the time to consult with members of the Indiana General Assembly. Instead, Gov. Pence relied on misinformation.”