Statement on Bias Crimes Concurrence Vote

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., April 2, 2019) Indy Chamber President & CEO, Michael Huber offered the following statement on behalf of the Indiana Competes coalition regarding today’s Indiana Senate concurrence vote on SB198, sending the bill to Governor Holcomb after it was amended last week to become the General Assembly’s surviving bias crimes proposal:

“With nearly a month left in the legislative session, we urge lawmakers to keep working towards the kind of inclusive, effective bias crimes law that polls show a majority of Hoosiers support. Absent further action, however, we’re left to either embrace an imperfect bill or accept the consequences of continued inaction for criminal justice and economic development.  

“Given this choice, we endorse Governor Holcomb signing SB198 into law.

“Passing SB198 should move Indiana off the list of states that haven’t cracked down on hate crimes.  It will punish more perpetrators of these unconscionable acts, build a more diverse workforce and stronger business climate.  It isn’t a perfect outcome, but it is progress in our efforts to welcome people from all walks of life to contribute to our economy, and employers who want to invest with confidence in Indiana.

“The incredible statewide coalition mobilized by Indiana Competes represents widespread public and business community support for clear, comprehensive action against bias crimes. It shows that Hoosiers reject hate, and our laws are slowly catching up with our ideals.  But our work isn’t finished.

 “Indiana may move off ‘the list,’ but bias crimes won’t move off the Indy Chamber’s legislative agenda.  We’ll keep pushing to strengthen the law so no Hoosiers are left behind or denied justice.”

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