INDIANAPOLIS—The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee met on Tuesday for the first day of the 2022 session, discussing several bills including one aimed at protecting the identities of child crime victims.
Sen. Kyle Walker, R-Indianapolis, authored Senate Bill 117, which would protect records and personal information—i.e., name, age, Social Security numbers, drivers’ license numbers, etc.—for minors under the age of 18 who are alleged victims of crimes. It passed committee 9-0.
Several senators spoke on behalf of the bill, which “prohibits the law enforcement agency from transmitting confidential identification and identifying information after June, 30th 2023,” in the words of Sen. Linda Rogers, R-Granger.
Amelia McClure, government relations counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association, spoke against the bill, stating that “despite Senate Bill 117’s honorable intentions, it will directly affect a vital source of protection for our children: local news.”
McClure explained that police often seek the help of newspapers when trying to find lost children and spreading the word about dangerous predators.
After a brief recess, Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, addressed his concern that if SB 117 were passed, parents of children in these circumstances would not have the option to share the minor’s identity. Walker assured the committee that parents would still have this ability to share the child's identity if they wish. Rather, it would ensure the minor’s identity would be kept confidential unless the parents decided otherwise.
Along with SB 117, three other bills were introduced to the Senate committee, including SB 70, SB 94 and most notably, SB 124, which would eliminate the priority for drivers to turn their signal on 200 feet before turning, rather requiring drivers to give reasonable notice.