|An Update on Hate Crimes that You Won’t Get from Fake News
As you know either from my email last night or the media freak out, the Indiana Senate put policy above rhetoric and amended Senate Bill 12 to include everyone in our hate / bias crime laws. Rather than limit a judge’s ability to extend a sentence in such a crime to a list of politically favored victim categories, the Senate affirmed a 2005 state Supreme Court ruling giving judges the widest latitude possible. It was a strong statement for equal justice under the law rather than stooping to the identity politics that divides our nation.
Indiana Senators should be thanked for their support of this amendment that passed with a very strong 33-16 vote. SB 12 will likely pass on Thursday. It will then go to the House in a few weeks where a victim list is also not popular.
The media is really doing a disservice to Hoosiers on this. Almost every headline and news story implies that their favored groups lost protections, when in fact SB 12 now protects everyone.
Here is something you won’t read or hear in the media. If anyone bothered to read the SB 12 amendment to look at what sections it cites in current law, they would find this code citation. This should also raise questions as to why the Governor has been, and still is, demeaning Indiana with his rhetoric. This was Governor Holcomb’s unfortunate and misleading reaction to the Senate vote last night, “The version of the bill approved today by the Senate does not get Indiana off the list of states without a bias crime law.”
That is false. We should never have been on such a list from the start. This has been part of Indiana law since 2003:
IC 10-13-3-1 “Bias crime” Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, “bias crime” means an offense in which the person who commits the offense knowingly or intentionally: (1) selected the person who was injured; or (2) damaged or otherwise affected property; by the offense because of the color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation of the injured person or owner or occupant of the affected property was associated with any other recognizable group or affiliation. As added by P.L. 2 – 2003.
Because of this law and court rulings, you might conclude that this whole issue has been a political and media driven hoax upon the people of Indiana. You are correct. SB 12, as amended, calls this bluff and restates the truth that we already protect anyone who might be the victim of a bias or hate crime.
I am posting the vote on the amendment yesterday at the bottom of this email. You should thank Senator Aaron Freeman who authored this amendment, and every Senator who voted for it to affirm equal justice under law.
It’s not Over: Another Dangerous Bill
There is a very bad bill in the Senate that is one of the biggest intrusions into parental rights I’ve ever seen. Keep your eyes on Senate Bill 266. It is loaded with heavy-handed proposals to do mental health screenings of all public-school students and to set up databases for this information. Senators Kruse and Raatz added some very good language on this in regard to parental notification and consent, but the enforcement of it was removed in the Appropriations Committee after it went through the Education Committee. We are watching this one very closely. There are a lot of things in this bill that might concern you. You can review it here:http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/senate/266#document-50427342
Protecting Children in a Non-Intrusive Way
Yesterday, I testified on Senate Bill 64 authored by Senator Jim Tomes. It would require those who work or hold events in Indiana libraries to pass a background check. The bill passed out of committee on a 9-1 vote.
In Their Own Words:
“We cannot have it both ways. Either businesses are coming to Indiana because Indiana is good for business, or businesses are avoiding Indiana or leaving because of our hostility. Which is it? Hoosiers are loving people and we have a great culture. If we base our laws simply upon what others are doing, I do not believe it would improve our state.” – State Representative Curt Nisly, on the issue of passing the kind of hate crime bill that liberal states have passed.