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