Madison, IN Sunny intervals 24°
Listen Live

Indiana Governor Signs Hate Crimes, State Superintendent Bills Into Law

Governor Holcomb did not use his veto power to stop a bias crimes bill which he didn't completely agree with.

 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a couple closely-watched bills into law Wednesday.

The hate crimes bill, Senate Bill 198, received the Republican governor’s signature just a day after it received a final vote in the Senate.

“Our goal was to achieve a comprehensive law that protects those who are the targets of bias crimes, and we have accomplished just that,” Holcomb said in a statement. “We have made progress and taken a strong stand against targeted violence. I am confident our judges will increase punishment for those who commit crimes motivated by bias under this law.”

The law will allow Indiana judges to order harsher sentences for criminals who victimize people based on their bias against color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion and sexual orientation.

“Indiana took a historic step forward today as the governor signed the bias crimes bill into law, which strengthens our reputation as a welcoming state for all. Lawmakers worked hard to craft legislation to protect all Hoosiers equally and leave no one out,” commented Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis).

However, the bill does not include age, sex, or gender identity as specified characteristics or traits that can be considered by courts. Statehouse Democrats had urged Holcomb to veto the bill because they believe it was not all-inclusive.

“It’s what he has insisted upon since this debate began. We have nearly four more weeks to get this done the right way. It’s what the people of Indiana want and deserve,” said House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne).

Another bill receiving Holcomb’s signature Wednesday was House Bill 1005, which moves up the date for the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction to become an appointed position by the governor instead of one voted on by Hoosiers.

Instead of the first state superintendent appointment happening in 2025, it can now happen in 2021. Republican lawmakers were motivated to move the date up because current state superintendent, Republican Jennifer McCormick, said she will not run for re-election in 2020.

“For state education policy to be consistent and to have a unified approach, it’s important for the governor and the education chief to be in sync – regardless of which party is in office,” Bosma said. “Accelerating the start date for the appointment of the secretary of education is a commonsense move given the current superintendent’s decision to not pursue another term.”

GOP legislators pushed for eliminating the state superintendent position as an elected office after numerous policy differences between former Republican governor Mike Pence and Democratic superintendent Glenda Ritz created disruption during their terms in office.

More from Local News

Events

  • Youth LGBTQ+ & Allies

    Make new friends, enjoy activities and discussions in a safe and affirming space For teens 13+ Every 2nd and 4th Thursday 506 Mulberry St, Madison Annex building behind Christ Episcopal Church 6:30-8PM

    at Annex Building
  • Teen Volunteer Program

    Madison Public Library Teens help with various projects and earn community service hours! You must complete the Volunteer Application and background check to attend. New applications are always being accepted. Registration required. Go to www.mjcpl.org and click on "events" to register or call the library at 812-265-2744

    at Madison Public Library
  • Donate Blood For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood or platelets to provide hope and healing to patients fighting cancer. Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, are needed to ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-REDCROSS, or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Upcoming blood donation opportunities this October: -Culver's, 240 Federal Drive Corydon, IN 47112 10/21/19 2-6pm -Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, 11999 Casino Center Drive S.E. Elizabeth IN 47117 10/16/19 noon-5pm -Jefferson County Public Library, 420 W. Main St. Madison IN, 47250 10/22/19 noon-5pm -Senior Citizens Center, 515 Buckeye St. North Vernon, IN 47265 10/22/19 noon-5pm -Austin High School, Highway 31 N. Austin IN, 47102 10/23/19 9am-2pm -Southern Hills Mennonite School, 4164 Hardinsburg-Livonia Road Campbellsburg IN, 47108 10/21/19 3:30-8:30pm -Salem National Guard, 1100 North Shelby St. Salem IN, 47167 10/27/19 9am-1pm

    at Jefferson County Public Library