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Legislator plans to introduce hate crime bill this session

August 10, 2016

A state senator from Indianapolis announced Tuesday his intention to again file legislation to enact a hate crime statute in Indiana, one of only five states that does not have this kind of law on the books.

The legislation authored by Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) would add a new aggravating circumstance which would increase a sentence when a crime victim is targeted because of his or her race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, ancestry or national origin. The bill would include a measure to train officers to recognize and report hate crimes as well as allow a victim of a hate crime to recover damages for losses incurred in civil court.

“In order to change the headlines that we keep seeing pop up more recently, we have to start working together,” Taylor said in a statement. “This bill offers law enforcement the resources and education they need while also protecting Hoosiers from other citizens that target them simply for being who they are.”

Taylor has authored similar hate crime bills for the last four years, but none made it to the Senate floor for consideration until last year.

Senate Bill 220, authored by Sen. Susan Glick, R-LaGrange, and co-authored by Taylor and others, made it out of its original committee, but failed when a House committee declined to hear it.

Last year, senators introduced four bills dealing with hate crimes; representatives in the House introduced two.

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