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No significant fiscal implication to the State or local government is anticipated.
The intent of SB 308 according to the Committee Clerk of Senate Criminal Justice and the analysis provided on TLO is to stop private university police departments from withholding information from the public related to arrests. However, as the bill is written it still allows campus police departments numerous exceptions to withhold information where it is appropriate via Sec. 552.108 of the Government Code. This bill requires private university police departments to be held under the same standard as public university police departments.
Generally we do not support increased government regulations on private institutions. In this case, the police departments associated with private universities are fully vested by the state with the same authority as police departments on public universities. It makes perfect sense therefore that these police departments be subject to the same transparency and accountability standards regardless of what type of campus they serve. Harmonizing the transparency standards for law enforcement agencies authorized under state law is within the proper role of a limited government.