News Releases

Statement from State Sen. John Ruckelshaus Senate Bill 12

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 21, 2019) ― “Today, Senate Bill 12 passed the Senate by a vote of 39 to 10. The original language in SB 12 included a list of specific characteristics, including race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. This is the second year I have co-authored bias-crimes legislation.

“On Tuesday, SB 12 was amended to remove the list and replace it with language that allows “bias” to be used as an aggravating factor at the time of sentencing. I voted against this amendment. I believe we need a specific list of characteristics in the law in order to protect Hoosiers.

“While I am disappointed the list was removed, today, I voted for the amended bill. One of my top priorities as your senator is passing a bias-crimes law. I believe this legislation is a step in the right direction and does provide more protections for Hoosiers than our current law.

“Again, I am not satisfied with the current version, but I still have hope for two reasons. First, this legislation moved further through the legislative process than it ever has since I have been elected. Second, we still have time to work on SB 12 while it is under consideration in the House of Representatives.

“I will continue to collaborate with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of the legislature to improve this legislation and hopefully restore the list of protected classes that was in the original version of the bill.”


Click here for a high-resolution photo of Sen. John Ruckelshaus.