Governor Eric Holcomb has vetoed his first bill. House Enrolled Act 1523, which had bipartisan support and easily cleared both chambers of the General Assembly, would've allowed public agencies throughout the state to charge for public records requests that took longer than two hours. The fees would be $20 per hour.

In a letter to legislators, Holcomb said:

While I understand the intent behind the bill to offset the considerable time and expense often devoted to fulfilling public records requests, I view this proposed legislation as contrary to my commitment to providing great government service at a great value for Hoosier taxpayers.

Providing access to public records is a key part of the work public servants perform and is important from a government transparency standpoint. I do not support policies that create burdensome obstacles to the public gaining access to public documents.

I vetoed HEA 1523 for these reasons; however, I support the provision requiring public agencies to provide electronic copies of public records in electronic format (such as emails) if requested.

Finally, I believe there are steps that can be taken administratively to streamline and improve the process for fulfilling public records requests, and I have charged my office to examine the best ways to provide public transparency and access to public records at the highest possible value to taxpayers.

A majority vote in both the Indiana House and Senate could override a governor's veto.