NewsPublic Affairs / March 26, 2019

Holcomb Insists Hate Crimes Debate Isn't Over

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Holcomb Insists Hate Crimes Debate Isn't Over

Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks at the 2019 Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb insists this session’s debate over hate crimes legislation isn’t over. And he says he’ll continue to advocate for a more expansive list of victim characteristics in the measure.

That’s after Holcomb released a statement Monday that heaped praise on a hate crimes amendment that business leaders say “falls far short.”

The House language references a list of victim characteristics already in state law – a list that includes race, religion and sexual orientation but doesn’t include sex, age or gender identity.

Holcomb has long advocated for a broader list and says the House amendment isn’t the end of the conversation.

“We have five weeks left to be persuasive about what we prefer," Holcomb says. "This is not a one-day scenario.”

But House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the language approved on the House floor is the only version that could get through his chamber.

“This was really, from my perspective, the only way to successfully enact a strong bias crimes statute,” Bosma says.

It’s possible the debate won’t last until the end of session – the Senate could vote to send the language to the governor as early as Thursday.

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