Indianapolis, Ind. – Indiana’s electric cooperatives celebrate the life and mourn the passing of former Indiana Governor Otis “Doc” Bowen on Saturday, May 4 at the Catherine Kasper Life Center in Donaldson, Indiana.
A lifelong Marshall County REMC member, Governor Bowen was a champion of Indiana’s rural communities and supporter of Indiana’s electric cooperatives. At their annual meeting in 1980, Indiana’s electric cooperatives honored Governor Bowen for his steadfast support of rural electrification.
In one significant show of support, Governor Bowen allowed Indiana’s electric cooperatives to enjoy future viability by signing Senate Bill 76, the Territorial Protection Bill, into law. Prior to his signing of this law in March 1980, any town or city that grew to more than 1,500 people would have its electrical service taken away from its member owners and given to an investor-owned utility or local municipality.
Governor Bowen appreciated the unique value Indiana’s electric cooperatives bring to the communities they serve. In a 1976 Electric Consumer article, Governor Bowen said, “My record shows that I have been a long-standing friend of REMCs. It is important that people in public life recognize that REMCs are unique. They were created to meet unique needs. They are unique because they are supervised by their own members.”
“Governor Bowen’s dedication and support to Indiana’s electric cooperatives and our member-consumers were evident throughout his entire public life,” said Scott Bowers, Vice President of Government Relations for the Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Indiana and Indiana’s electric cooperative community have lost a lifelong friend, advocate, sincere statesman and a national public servant.”
Indiana Electric Cooperatives, located in Indianapolis, represents 39 electric distribution cooperatives that serve 1.3 million Hoosiers in 89 of the state’s 92 counties. The cooperatives are collectively the second largest electricity provider in Indiana. For more information about the association visit indianaec.org.