(INDIANAPOLIS) – Following the Indiana Senate’s concurrence today with amendments made by the Indiana House to SB 198, Governor Eric Holcomb will soon officially take Indiana off the list of states without a bias crimes law and put us on the map with the 45 other states that do have one.
“This is a day to celebrate,” said Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Kyle Hupfer. “For decades Indiana has tried and failed to enact a sensible and responsible bias crimes bill. But thanks to the steady leadership of Governor Eric Holcomb, who publicly advocated for a bill and privately led negotiations to reach a deal, Indiana is off the list and on the map.”
Prior to this year’s legislative session, Indiana remained on the list of only five states (along with Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Wyoming) lacking bias crimes protections in law. Now, with the passage and eventual signing of SB 198 into law, Indiana will have a bias crimes statute that matches or exceeds those of at least 10 other states already listed on the map.
Hupfer added, “From the beginning, Governor Holcomb said his goal was to pass a long overdue bias crimes bill to get Indiana off the list of states without one, to reaffirm that Indiana is welcoming to all, and to aid our economic development efforts. This bill achieves all those goals.
“It’s important to remember that the only reason – the only reason – we are on the verge of making Hoosier history and joining with the other 45 states that have a bias crimes bill is because of Governor Holcomb’s leadership. He recognized it was long overdue to pass a bill and he has courageously led on this issue publicly and privately.
“Leadership is about doing what’s right – and Governor Holcomb is the right leader at the right time. We also applaud the members of our Indiana House and Senate who worked diligently alongside Governor Holcomb, Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Rod Bray to make today possible. This was not an easy vote for some, but it was ultimately the right thing to do.”