The Indiana General Assembly won’t convene until January 2021, but the Hoosier State Press Association is already laying the groundwork for what could be a very busy session, according to Steve Key, executive director and general counsel.
In light of the George Floyd death and nationwide protests calling for racial justice, there will be bills filed to address how law enforcement agencies operate. HSPA sees this as an opportunity to make the disciplinary process for police officers more transparent, Key said.
Rep. Ed Delaney, D-Indianapolis, reached out to HSPA to offer a bill seeking a way to leverage the Internet platforms (Google, Facebook) to compensate newspapers for its journalism.
Several editors across the state are reviewing ideas at the request of HSPA’s Key. The suggestions will be made available to legislative leaders in both the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives. The topics include merit boards, personnel files, police video access from body cameras, cruiser cams and drones.
It’s too early in the process to know whether any of HSPA’s ideas may be picked up in legislation to be filed.
On another front, Rep. Ed Delaney, D-Indianapolis, reached out to HSPA to offer a bill seeking a way to leverage the Internet platforms (Google, Facebook) to compensate newspapers for its journalism. HSPA has sought input from the NewsMedia Alliance’s Danielle Coffey on how Indiana could help their national effort to create a compensation process for the content local newspapers create.
Lastly, COVID-19 induced tax revenue shortfalls for local government will, I believe, be used to fuel new attacks on the print requirements for public notices to help them cut expenses. While fighting those efforts in 2021, HSPA is working on legislation for 2022 to modernize the state’s public notice policy.
Any legislation in 2022 will be based on the four elements of effective public notices – accessibility by the public, verification of the notice’s printing/posting, independent entity responsible for dissemination, and ability to archive the notice.
There are many questions that still need to be resolved in the shaping of a future state public notice policy. Moving the goalpost to 2022 will give HSPA the time to find answers. Key said HSPA will update publishers as the 2021 legislative picture comes into clearer focus.