Newburgh boy's work pays off as child labor bill becomes law | News
A change in Indiana's child labor laws is now law thanks in part to the efforts of a 13-year-old boy from Newburgh.
State Representatives Suzanne Crouch (R-Evansville) and Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) co-sponsored Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 153, which was signed into law today by Governor Pence. SEA 153 amends Indiana's child labor laws to allow Hoosiers under age 14 to work as referees, umpires or officials for youth athletic programs.
“Matthew Burkhart, a 13-year-old from Newburgh, brought this idea to me because he wanted to make a difference,” said Rep. Crouch. “This bill could help as many as 300 young Hoosiers, just like Matthew, to realize their dreams of serving as referees.”
SEA 153 has the support of Indiana Soccer President Murray Clark. The bill lowers the eligibility age to work as a referee, umpire or official for youth athletic programs. A child must satisfy each of the following requirements:
· The child must be at least 12 years of age.
· The child must be certified as a referee, umpire or official by a national certification program.
· The child must referee, umpire or officiate for an age bracket younger than his/her own age.
“This legislation is quite an accomplishment for the young Mr. Burkhart,” said Rep. Bacon. “He should be very proud of his work. The legislative process is not easy to maneuver and his efforts to make this a possibility are commendable. I hope this will encourage more kids to be active in their local athletic programs as participants and as role models for their younger peers.