INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Lawmakers celebrated when the 2015 session ended at midnight on April 29, but it will be remembered in history as the RFRA session.
The passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the followup bill, that will protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in communities where local ordinances are in place, could have a lasting effect on the Indiana economy.
The controversial bill signing at the end of March was a large part of the 2015 session.
The RFRA signing included activists who encouraged discrimination and it sparked a national firestorm and a boycott of Indiana by some. Democrats believe that more needs to be done to repair the state’s reputation.
“It makes our best and brightest young people want to leave Indiana. It discourages our best and brightest in the nation from moving here and those people are our economic future,” said House Democrat minority leader, Scott Pelath.
As lawmakers made their way back home, they can expect that there will be a new debate in 2016 over the granting of statewide protections for gays and lesbians.
Senate leader David Long has already committed to the debate, but House speaker Brian Bosma said that he is putting off the discussion about what will happen next session until a later date.