Group says lack of hate crime law could deter Amazon HQ from coming to Indy

INDIANAPOLIS -- A group in Indiana says the state’s failure to pass a Hate Crime law could impact Amazon’s decision to build their next headquarters here.

The company cited support for “diversity” as one of the factors its considering for a new location.

“Amazon is a terrific opportunity, it’s a great spotlight on our city but we’ve been advocating for this for a long time so certainly our business community understands that this impacts their ability to attract talent and grow their business locally,” said Indy Chamber Chief Policy Officer Mark Fisher.

The Indy Chamber has been pushing for a comprehensive hate crime bill because they say that’s what potential employees want – and talent drives economic development.

“We need to make sure that we are an open city and an open region and open state for talent,” said Fisher. “Not just from Indianapolis or from Indiana but from across the globe and across the country.”

The chairman of the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee State Senator Michael Young says the bill was shot down because they couldn’t agree on the language for the law or a list of people who would be protected under it.

“We just couldn’t get a consensus from the last meeting,” said Sen. Young. “We couldn’t’ get that accomplished between the parties and if we didn’t have it right I wasn’t going to move that bill forward. Our preference is that the legislature would’ve taken us up for vote.”

Fisher said he hopes the state’s lack of a hate crime bill won’t deter companies like Amazon from bringing jobs here.

“We are not giving up,” said Fisher. “This is just one more hurdle that will continue to advocate with our corporate community and partners in the city and state.”

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