Legislation to pass a bias crimes law takes center stage next week as SB 12, authored by Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) and Sen. Mike Bohacek (R-Michigan City), is set to go before the Senate Public Policy Committee Monday morning. This is a priority issue for the Indiana Chamber and we will be pushing for the most all-encompassing measure to be enacted.

Senate Bill 12 does that and includes sexual orientation and gender identity among the list of protected categories. As we work to attract top talent from all over the U.S. and the world, individuals need to know that their friends and families will be safe from discrimination and welcome in our state.

The Chamber’s overriding goal is for a bill to pass in 2019 that would take Indiana off the list of just five states that currently don’t have a bias/hate crimes law on the books. In addition to Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar testifying at the public hearing, the Chamber has lined up several prominent business leaders to speak in favor of the bill’s passage and on the impact it would have.

Senate Bill 12 will need to be voted on next week in committee, where we expect a positive result. The bill could move to the Senate floor – where things are anticipated to be more difficult – quickly for consideration, with the voting deadline for the first half of the session being February 26. The Chamber and its coalition are continuing a full-court press on this issue with senators.

Resource: Adam H. Berry at (317) 264-6892 or email: aberry@indianachamber.com