The Indiana House of Representatives Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions has unanimously approved a bill inspired by a 13-year-old Newburgh resident.
Senate Bill 153, authored by State Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) and sponsored by State Rep. Suzanne Crouch (R-Evansville), would create an exemption in Indiana's child labor laws to allow Hoosiers younger than age 14 to work as youth athletic program referees, umpires or officials. It passed the committee 12-0.
Evansville Holy Rosary Catholic School student Matthew Burkart of Newburgh asked Becker and Crouch to carry the legislation after he was turned away from taking a referee job or even volunteering as an official for a local soccer club. Burkart testified in both the Senate and House committee hearings.