Monday, March 28, 2011

Indiana Legislature To Discuss Records Access

Indiana's state senate will vote on House Bill 1079, a bill that would ease the restrictions on the public's access to some veterans' records, in a committee meeting this Wednesday, March 30 at 1:30 pm. HB 1079 helps ease the restrictions on public access to some military records, yet still helps safeguard veterans from possible identity theft.

Specifically, the bill states that veterans' discharge records that are recorded in a county recorder's office are considered public records if the veteran's Social Security number has been removed from them. Further, it requires a county recorder to remove the Social Security number from the veteran's discharge record when they receive a written public record request for the discharge record.

This bill passed the House of Representatives unanimously and has the support of veterans' groups and county officials. The bill must now be passed out of the Senate's Local Government committee in order to move to the full Senate.

Appreciating the tremendous significance of military records in historical and genealogical research, and acknowledging the importance our military ancestors have played in securing our freedoms, the Indiana Genealogical Society's Board of Directors recognizes and supports Indiana House Bill 1079. We honor our veterans by memorializing their service and we foster informed citizens by providing them with appropriate access to records that document our history and heritage.

We encourage you to e-mail your state senator before Wednesday afternoon and let them know how important this bill is for those that engage in historical and genealogical research.

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