All we have to do is look outside these chamber walls to see the countless groups and businesses who oppose a non-inclusive hate crimes law. The Indiana business community has called for a hate crimes bill that includes age, sex, and gender identity since day one. We do a lot in this chamber to support Hoosier businesses and to draw new ones to our state.

We have done a lot to make Indiana the “go-to” location for large conventions. Yet, when all of these business and business advocacy groups come to the Statehouse to beg for a fully inclusive hate crimes law, we ignore their pleas? CEOs from multiple industries – tech, pharmaceutical, banking – have called on the governor and legislators to pass a bill with a clear and inclusive list of enumerated traits. The same traits that we had in the original version of Senate Bill 12.

If you allow this bill to pass without going to conference committee and be discussed further, you will ignore the entirety of Indiana’s business community. How can Indiana be a state that works when we ignore the requests of an enormous contingent of Hoosier businesses?

If you approve this bill today, our business community will suffer for it. Our state economy will suffer for it. Businesses will not want to come to a state that can’t guarantee protections to all of their employees. SB 198 in its current form is not good for business in our state. Today, I join with the Hoosier business community and oppose SB 198 with its sad attempt at hate crimes language.