INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Senate Bill (SB) 418, a bias crimes bill, was killed in the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee. State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) had the following comments after the Supermajority refused to take a vote on the bill:
“I am more than disappointed and angry on behalf of victims in this state that another year has gone by and the General Assembly has chosen not to put a law on the books to protect those who are affected by bias motivated crimes.
“A bias crimes bill was part of the Indiana Senate Democrats’ legislative agenda and our efforts to get this bill passed will not be stopped because of the inaction of one committee.
“I was told on the Senate floor last year that a bipartisan effort would be made to ensure a bias crimes law would be passed this legislative session. Those conversations ended when session began.
“The courageous families who came to the Statehouse to tell the stories of the crimes that have been committed against their loved ones because of a bias, were ignored when the chairman of the committee failed to hear this bill today.
“Now we have to tell those families to wait in fear for another year for the State of Indiana to take action to ensure these crimes don’t happen to anyone else. The Republicans have told them that they won’t get justice this year. That is wrong.
“We needed to tell Indiana today that we are ready for a bias crimes bill because no 15-year-old child should be beat unconscious, following multiple race-based threats, and their aggressor be sentenced to only 30 days in a juvenile correctional center. If that doesn’t show that our current laws aren’t adequate, I don’t know what does. I know that Indiana is better than this.”