Panel says no conflict of interest in Indiana lawmaker’s effort to gut child labor laws

Indiana Statehouse (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indiana’s Senate Ethics committee ruled there was no conflict of interest regarding Republican Sen. Chip Perfect’s involvement in a bill that would gut state child labor laws, despite the fact he employs hundreds of minors at his business, Perfect North Slopes.

Senate Bill 342, which Perfect sponsors, would get rid of work permit requirements for minors and remove all restrictions on what hours 16- and 17-year-old Hoosiers can work. Other protections for minors would still be present under federal law.

The Lawrenceburg lawmaker said he has spent the money to make sure he abides by the rules. Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor, said Perfect North had no violations during its most recent inspection.

But if the bill passes, he would be able to ask his younger employees to work more hours.

Perfect released a statement Tuesday, a day after IndyStar reported that his bill was moving forward, saying he sought informal guidance from the Senate Ethics Committee’s former chair when he first started crafting a bill. He added that he requested a formal ruling sometime during the current General Assembly.

“This session, I requested a formal Ethics Committee ruling, which was unanimous and bipartisan in finding no conflict of interest,” Perfect said. “I believe this legislation includes positive reforms to the system, while still maintaining adequate protections for the Hoosier workforce.”

Read the full story from our newsgathering partners at the IndyStar here.

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