INDIANAPOLIS – State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend) released the following statement after Senate Bill (SB) 285 was amended to be sent to a summer study committee by a 5-1 vote in the Senate Local Government Committee on Wednesday. SB 285 would have required a public official to dispatch all available law enforcement personnel within 15 minutes of learning of a traffic obstruction to clear the roads of all people obstructing traffic.

“Protestors obstructing emergency vehicles is not a real issue in Indiana, and I was not given one example during the committee testimony of this happening in the state.  

“What was at stake here was Hoosiers’ first amendment rights to free assembly. It was a bad bill to begin with, they tried to fix it with amendments, and it ended up being sent to a summer study committee.

“It is my hope that if there is a summer study of this issue, it will reveal this kind of legislation has dangerous implications, and will therefore not be considered next legislative session.”