Indiana CEOs Support Enumerated Bias Crimes Legislation

February 27, 2019

Dear Speaker Bosma, Senate President Bray and Representative Steuerwald:

We want to bring your attention to an issue that is vital to the Hoosier business community: passing a comprehensive bias crimes law with enumerated classes. Unfortunately, SB 12 as passed by the Senate last week is void of specific protections for race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation and age. The bill in its current form is unacceptable, unenforceable and harmful to the state’s economy.

We urge you to strengthen the bill by adding enumerated classes back into the legislation and establish a strong bias crimes law in Indiana. Indiana is currently in the national spotlight because we are one of five states without bias crimes protections. Being on this list is damaging to the state’s image, which in turn is harmful to our businesses and employees. We face daily global competition for talent, and human capital is vital to our continued success. When talented people choose not to come to Indiana or remain in Indiana for work, it puts the future of the state at risk. Taking proactive steps to improve the state’s image, like passing comprehensive bias crimes protections, is essential to addressing this problem.

Passing comprehensive bias crimes legislation the right thing to do for the state’s economy and it is the right thing to do for all Hoosiers. There are far too many incidents of hate and discrimination in our state and reported acts of hate crimes are increasing. Our neighbors are targeted because of the color of their skin, their religion or their sexual orientation. We condemn these acts of hatred and intimidation, which are not only an attack on the individual but an attack on the state. The Indiana General Assembly has an opportunity to address these despicable acts by passing legislation that signals hate will not be tolerated here.

We want to be clear that passing SB 12 without specific classes will NOT remove us from the list of states without bias crimes protections. Approving a bill without enumerated classes will do additional harm to our state’s image and economy. The only way to put this issue behind us and move our state forward is to pass comprehensive bias crimes legislation.

We need your leadership more than ever to address this critical issue. We urge you to work with the Governor and your colleagues in the House and Senate to pass comprehensive bias crimes legislation this session. Let’s send a message to the world that Indiana is welcome to all and open for business.



Tom Linebarger                                                          David A. Ricks
Chairman and CEO                                                    Chairman and CEO
Cummins Inc.                                                             Eli Lilly and Company


Bob Stutz                                                                           Bob Jones
CEO, Marketing Cloud & Chief Analytics Officer     Chairman and CEO
Salesforce                                                                          Old National Bancorp


David Simon                                                                         Gail K. Boudreaux
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President        President and CEO
Simon Property Group                                                        Anthem, Inc.


Dennis Murphy                                                           Jeff Smulyan
President and CEO                                                     Chairman, CEO and Founder
Indiana University Health                                        Emmis Communications Corporation


Jack J. Phillips                                                               Jeffrey N. Simmons
President & Chief Executive Officer                          President and CEO
Roche Diagnostics Corporation                                 Elanco Animal Health


Mark Miles                                                                   Joe A. Raver
President and CEO                                                     President and CEO
Hulman & Company                                                  Hillenbrand


Rajan Gajaria                                                               Mark A. Emmert
Executive Vice President                                           President
Corteva Agriscience                                                   NCAA


Bill Soards                                                                  Jim Morris
President                                                                     Vice Chairman
AT&T Indiana                                                            Pacers Sports & Entertainment


Jim Irsay                                                                     David Becker
Owner and CEO                                                         President and CEO
Indianapolis Colts                                                     First Internet Bank Board Chair, Indiana Technology & Innovation Association


Scott Dorsey                                                               James M. Danko
Managing Partner                                                       President
High Alpha                                                                 Butler University


Ryan Vaughn                                                              Connie Bond Stuart
President                                                                     Regional President
Indiana Sports Corp                                                    PNC Bank


Ann Murtlow                                                              Kevin Brinegar
President and CEO                                                     President and CEO
United Way of Central Indiana                                  Indiana Chamber


Michael Huber                                                            Mo Merhoff
President and CEO                                                     President
Indy Chamber                                                             OneZone

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