(INDIANAPOLIS) — President and CEO Kevin Brinegar says the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is deeply disappointed with the actions taken by the Republican majority in removing the categories of victims protected by the bias crimes legislation (Senate Bill 12):

“Unfortunately, what passed the Senate today does not meet the all-important criteria of a meaningful bias crimes law. The Indiana Chamber and its members will continue to work with all legislators to do just that. We agree with Gov. Holcomb that the current legislation does not even remove Indiana from the list of five states without a bias crimes statute.

“With more than two full months left in this legislative session, there is still time for the House to properly address this issue and for the Senate to act again – this time to pass a comprehensive law. If the General Assembly fails to do so, it will only unnecessarily fuel this controversy.

“Nearly 75% of Hoosiers support passage of a bias crime law. Republican, Democrat, white, minority, urban, rural, young and old voters all are in strong support. This debate is now about politics within the Statehouse, not among Indiana voters. It is time for legislators to truly represent the wishes of their constituents.

“There is no rational reason not to pass a meaningful and comprehensive bias crimes law this year to remove Indiana from the list of five states without one. Our state’s reputation is at stake. We must send a strong message of inclusiveness to help ensure our state’s future success.

“The Indiana Chamber commends co-authors Mike Bohacek and Ron Alting for their original bill and continued efforts.”

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The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”