[Photo provided/Matthew Burkart testifies in committee on Tuesday, March 5.]
An Indiana House Committee has unanimously approved a bill inspired by a thirteen-year-old boy from Newburgh. Senate Bill 153 would create an exemption in Indiana's child labor laws to allow Hoosiers younger than 14 to work as youth athletic program referees, umpires or officials. Evansville Holy Rosary Catholic School student Matthew Burkart sought the change after he was turned away from taking a referee job or volunteering as an official for a local soccer club. Burkart, who testified in both the Senate and House committee hearings, said “This bill will get kids off the couches and iPads” and help teach responsibility, commitment and confidence.
[Photo provided/Matthew Burkart and his father, Bob, meet with Rep. Crouch (located far left in photo) and Sen. Becker (located far right in photo) after committee on Tuesday, March 5.]
Burkart also says the bill would potentially help 300 12- and 13-year-old Hoosiers who want to referee.