INDIANAPOLIS — On Monday, the Senate Public Policy Committee approved a bias crimes proposal with a vote of 9-1. State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) signed on as a co-author of Senate Bill (SB) 12 after the committee approved amendments he and other Senate Democrats requested. Sen. Taylor had the following comments upon passage of the bill:

“I have been working to get a bias crimes proposal on the books in Indiana for six consecutive years now. This is a huge step forward for all those in Indiana who have ever been wrongly harmed or had their property vandalized due to the color of their skin, their religious affiliation or their sexual orientation.

“While I understand this bill still has a long way to go to protect marginalized communities in our state, I recognize the progress we have made in the legislature today. I urge all of my colleagues in the Senate and the House, Republicans and Democrats, alike, to support this proposal in its current form. I also urge the governor to sign this bill into law when it comes time.

“Today, Indiana sent a message to the rest of the country that in this state we do not accept crimes targeting someone’s perceived or actual characteristics. This will not only make Hoosier lives better, but will also create a more welcoming state for business and economic development.

“I want to thank the chairman of the committee for accepting my amendments to this bill to ensure that those who are targets of crimes committed due to a bias are given relief in the knowledge that those who commit a crime against them will receive an aggravated sentence.

“I am excited to be a co-author of this proposal, for which I have fought for over six year, and I know will make a real difference in our state and I look forward to seeing its continued progress through the legislature.”