13-year-old's bill could soon be law | News
Contrary to what some believe, the power still resides with the people.
On Monday, Indiana state legislators approved a new bill that originated with a 13-year-old from Newburgh.
Matthew Burkhart testified before a House committee last week that he couldn’t get a job as a soccer referee last year because of child labor laws. He said changing the law would be important to get kids off the couch and the House agreed, voting 92-4 in favor of the bill that adds soccer ref to the list of jobs kids under 14 can do. Currently that list includes only farm work, newspaper carrier or golf caddy.
Matthew hopes he’ll get that chance to officiate before his next birthday.
“Matthew showed great initiative in putting forth most of the legwork necessary for this bill, and I’m extremely proud of him,” State Senator Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) said.
Matthew, a student Evansville Holy Rosary Catholic School, provided Senate and House committees with petitions, letters and signatures from Indiana mayors, soccer players, youth coaches, parents and others who support SB 153. He brought the idea to Becker after being turned down for a referee job at a local soccer club because he was too young by state law.
“This bill will affect more than 300 young Hoosiers across the state,” Becker said. “We want to provide them with the opportunity to pursue their ambitions and show them that, as Matthew said, ‘Indiana is not a state that will hold them back.’”
In January, the bill passed the state senate. The bill now heads for the desk of Gov. Mike Pence.