Study Committee On Hate Crimes Fails To Issue Any Recommendation

Oct 10, 2018

A decades-long debate over whether Indiana should have an explicit hate crimes law is no closer to a resolution.

A committee assigned to study the issue did not deliver a recommendation.

The study committee took hours of testimony. It largely mirrored the hours of testimony heard in each of the last three sessions, when lawmakers debated a hate crimes bill.

Committee chair Rep. Tom Washburne (R-Inglefield) says he’s not comfortable with the panel making any recommendation on the issue.

“[It] is a matter of public policy to be resolved by the elected General Assembly, meeting in full session,” Washburne says.

But Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) says the committee shouldn’t pass the buck.

“If we wanted to, we could actually make some stronger or more detailed recommendation on the bias crimes thing," Pierce says. "I mean, the idea is to try to break the logjam here.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb earlier this year announced he'll support an effort to pass a hate crimes law in the upcoming 2019 legislative session. That session begins in January.