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Gov. Holcomb Insists Hate Crimes Debate Isn't Over

Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks at the 2019 Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks at the 2019 Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb insists this session’s debate over hate crimes legislation isn’t over. And he says he’ll continue to advocate for a more expansive list of victim characteristics in the measure.

That’s after Holcomb released a statement Monday that heaped praise on a hate crimes amendment that business leaders say “falls far short.”

The House language references a list of victim characteristics already in state law – a list that includes race, religion and sexual orientation but doesn’t include sex, age or gender identity.

Holcomb has long advocated for a broader list and says the House amendment isn’t the end of the conversation.

“We have five weeks left to be persuasive about what we prefer," Holcomb says. "This is not a one-day scenario.”

But House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the language approved on the House floor is the only version that could get through his chamber.

“This was really, from my perspective, the only way to successfully enact a strong bias crimes statute,” Bosma says.

It’s possible the debate won’t last until the end of session – the Senate could vote to send the language to the governor as early as Thursday.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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