Fourteen days after rallying on the third floor of the Indiana Statehouse to cheer, applaud and push the Legislature into passing a hate crime bill this session, advocates were stunned the measure failed last week to even get a committee vote.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation Wednesday aimed at getting Indiana off a list of five states without a hate crimes law, saying that the state has “made progress and taken a strong stand against targeted violence.”
The Indiana Senate adopted the House’s version of a bias crimes bill Tuesday afternoon, sending the legislation to Gov. Eric Holcomb despite complaints from opponents who say the bill isn’t specific enough.
Indiana House Republicans approved hate crimes language Monday that references a list of victims against whom crimes could qualify for harsher penalties — a move lauded by Gov. Eric Holcomb but criticized by two coalitions of businesses and not-for-profits seeking a broader list.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday he will try to build public support for a hate crimes law, a week after the Republican-dominated state Senate stripped out a list of specific protected traits he had supported to get Indiana off a list of five states without such a law.
An Indiana man charged in the road rage shooting death of a Muslim man allegedly yelled “go back to your country” and made ethnic and religious insults against the victim before the shooting, according to court documents.
The Republican-dominated Indiana Senate passed a stripped-down hate crimes bill Thursday and sent the measure to the House, where Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and others hope the legislation can still be strengthened. The Senate voted 39-10 in favor of the legislation that was changed two days earlier to remove a list of specifically protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender identity and race.
The Republican-majority Senate stripped a hate crimes bill Tuesday of language that specified the types of crimes it would apply to — those motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and other categories — despite emotional pleas by Democrats to leave the bill as written.
After more than three hours of testimony and discussion on Monday morning, the Senate Public Policy Committee voted to send a bias crimes bill to the full Senate for consideration. Senate Bill 12 would give judges the ability to consider whether a crime was committed out of hate or bias toward specific groups of individuals as an aggravating circumstance at sentencing.