Lawmakers honored for public safety work

Staff Report
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council has recognized state Rep. B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, and Sen. Erin Houchin, R-Salem, for their work in getting a felony DNA law enacted.

Bauer and Houchin received the Legislative Excellence Awards for their work on the bill in the 2017 legislative session which requires those arrested for a felony to provide a DNA sample to law enforcement. Both Bauer and Houchin have been working on this issue for a long time.

“Thanks to his leadership, prosecutors in Indiana now have an invaluable tool to not only exonerate the innocent, but also ensure that dangerous repeat offenders are held accountable for their crimes,” Joseph County Prosecutor Kenneth Cotter said in a statement.

Houchin was honored for her work in the passage of the DNA legislation, and also another bill that gave prosecutors advantages in the criminal fight against the heroin epidemic.

“Senator Houchin was diligent in her efforts to pass legislation which will go far in helping prosecutors shut off the supply of heroin poisoning our communities every day,” Tippecanoe County prosecutor Patrick Harrington said in a statement. “Because of her, Indiana is a tougher place for heroin dealers, and a safer place for Hoosiers to grow, work, and live.”

Bauer has been in the House for nearly 50 years and has served as the House speaker, Democratic leader and chair of the Ways and Means Committee. Houchin was elected in 2014 and has earned a reputation for her support of public safety issues.

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