Details of Hate Crime Bill to be Hot Topic

Posted: Updated:

An assistant professor of political science at the University of Indianapolis says the specific details of potential hate crime legislation will be the big topic during this year's Indiana General Assembly. Governor Eric Holcomb is among many who have called for Indiana to adopt some form of hate crime legislation prior to the session kicking off today. Laura Merrifield Wilson says how sexual orientation plays into the potential bill will bring lots of discussion.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Wilson said that issue is part of the reason why Indiana is one of only five states to not have any sort of hate crime legislation on the books.

"You have to consider sexual orientation and one of the things legislators can do is say that that's not part of hate crime and we could have a bill that doesn't include it, but there's going to be a fight about whether or not that term should be included, whether or not that group of people should be included and, especially with a lot of the social conservatives in the House and Senate in Indiana, I think it's going to be hard to include that and to get it to pass in favor of them," said Wilson. 

The legislature has attempted to pass hate crime legislation in the past to no avail. Wilson says the public outcry after a Carmel synagogue was vandalized last summer will have lawmakers talking more about the issue.

This year's legislative session is a budget year and Wilson says, for the session to be successful, everyone will need to get something of what they want. "There's going to be a lot of competing priorities and I don't think if you look down party lines, nobody is going to get everything. If everyone's able to get something of what they want, if we're able to allocate enough money to the places that we truly need to, I think that's a success."

Some of the other hot topics during this session include medical marijuana, which Wilson does not expect to pass this year, as well as an increase in teacher pay.

  • Perspectives

    • Seven Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Writing

      "I hate to write!" While that phrase is music to my ears, because it ensures my income will persist, it also saddens me. Far too many people dislike writing, largely because they’re intimidated by the process of knitting words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Nearly everyone needs to write from time to time, and the ability to assemble words in a coherent way can impact your success. Whether you have to write reports, proposals, memos, or even emails...


Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Indiana Liquor Group to Buy Save-On Liquor Chain

      Indiana Liquor Group LLC will work with the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission this week for final approval of its purchase of Save-On Liquor stores. Our partners at The Herald Bulletin report Phillip E. Miller agreed to sell the 31-location package store chain to ILG last month. 

    • Books & Brews Acquires Flat12 Bierwerks

      Indianapolis-based Books & Brews has announced its acquisition of Flat12 Bierwerks, also based in Indy. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, however Books & Brews says it will continue to operate Flat12 under the same brand name. The acquisition is a continuation of an existing partnership between the two entities. Books & Brews says Flat12 has been a brewery partner for the past two years, brewing all of B&B's flagship and seasonal beers.

    • New Tourism Director Has Plans For Growth

      The new director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development says she hopes to create a strategic plan to continue the growth of tourism in the state. Misty Weisensteiner began her new role earlier this month after being appointed by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch in December. The former executive director of the Orange County Economic Development Partnership says tourism and economic development go hand-in-hand and there needs to be a greater focus on that relationship.

    • Loeb Stadium Project in Final Design Phase

      The $17 million overhaul of Loeb Stadium in Lafayette is in its final planning stages. The Journal & Courier says the overall design of the project is complete, which includes flipping the field, an additional suite and a new entrance designed to be a more visible landmark. Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski unveiled plans for the reimagining of the more than 75-year-old stadium in 2017. The city council earlier this month approved a $17 million bond to fund the project.

    • BMWC Constructors Announce Leadership Changes

      Indianapolis-based BMWC Constructors, Inc. continues their strategic growth with leadership changes. Chairman of the Board Jim Davis retired after eight years in the role and after 30 years with the company.  President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Acton will move into the role of Chairman of the Board, while remaining CEO.