Access to Public Records Act

Chris Morisse Vizza / WBAA News

After fewer than six minutes of public discussion Thursday afternoon, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved Purdue University’s plan to merge with online educator Kaplan University.

The ICHE is one of a handful of bodies that has to sign off on the merger before it can officially proceed and the educational offerings of the two institutions may become one.

Appeals Court Rules For Pence In Open Records Suit

Jan 9, 2017

 

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that former Gov. Mike Pence did not have to disclose certain documents related to challenging President Obama’s immigration orders.

Pence, using outside counsel, joined in a 2014 Texas lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Indianapolis attorney William Groth filed a request under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act, or APRA, to view communications and documents related to that decision.

Christian Schnettelker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/manoftaste-de/

Citizen advocacy groups want the Indiana Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling in a case involving the House Republican caucus and the state’s public records law.

The groups filed a lawsuit last years to gain access to emails between a House Republican lawmaker and utility companies.

Pence Vetoes Private College Police Records Bill

Mar 24, 2016
Karin Beil / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kbeil/6807532616

Governor Mike Pence Thursday vetoed a bill aimed at requiring more transparency from private university police departments, but which Pence says does the opposite.

The bill would have declared private university police departments public agencies, but at the same time would only require them to disclose records about people they arrest or put in jail.

Governor Pence said in a statement that limiting access to private university police records is a disservice to the public, so he vetoed the bill.

Phil Jern / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjern/5932984588

Indiana House Republicans want to shield their emails from the state public records law after citizen advocacy groups sued to access emails between a lawmaker and lobbyists. 

Attorneys argued the case before the State Supreme Court last week.

One focus of debate centered on an exemption in Indiana’s open records law for “legislative work product.”

The term isn’t defined.

An attorney for the House Republican caucus, Geoffrey Slaughter, says emails between legislators and constituents – including lobbyists – would clearly fall under that exemption.

Paul Vladuchick / https://www.flickr.com/photos/vladdythephotogeek/

A bill that would protect private university police departments from disclosing the same public records as all other police departments is now sitting on the governor’s desk.

South Bend Representative Pat Bauer proposed the bill, which would only require private university police departments to disclose information about people they arrest or put in jail.

That means they won’t have to hand over any investigatory records, which President of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government Gerry Lanosga says make up the majority of police interactions.

House Republican Caucus

A Marion County judge says the House Republican caucus doesn’t have to make lawmaker emails public under Indiana’s open records law. 

Citizen advocacy groups and an energy institute filed a lawsuit against the House GOP caucus and Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) in April after the caucus refused to hand over Koch’s emails involving a solar energy bill. 

House Republicans argue the state’s Access to Public Records Act, or APRA, doesn’t apply to them, while groups such as the Citizens Action Coalition say it should.