Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Governor Holcomb weighing concerns about antisemitism bill as deadline to sign it approaches

Eric Holcomb stands in his office, in front of an American flag. Holcomb is a White man with white and gray hair and beard, wearing a suit and tie.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Gov. Eric Holcomb said he's been hearing concerns — from both outside and inside Indiana — about the bill to ban antisemitism in state public education institutions.

Lawmakers last week believed they found a compromise on a controversial bill to define and ban antisemitism in public education institutions. Gov. Eric Holcomb said things have changed since then as he weighs whether to sign the measure into law.

The crux of the controversy was HB 1002’s use of a definition of antisemitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and its accompanying examples, which were originally included in the bill.

Concerns were that the examples conflate criticism of the state of Israel with antisemitism.

The compromise lawmakers passed almost unanimously on the final day of the session used the IHRA definition, but not its examples.

Holcomb said he’s hearing concerns about excluding the examples, which he said could make the bill “counterproductive.”

“And I want to make sure whatever we do, we get it right and we don’t just do it to do it,” Holcomb said.

READ MORE: Lawmakers reach compromise on antisemitism measure, send to governor’s desk

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues, including our project Civically, Indiana and our 2024 legislative bill tracker.

Attorney General Todd Rokita called on Holcomb to veto the bill earlier this week, and said the bill became a “toothless mess.”

The deadline for the governor to make a decision is March 19. He can sign the bill into law, let it become law without his signature or veto it.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.