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House panel OKs child labor-referee measure

Updated: March 6, 2013 10:57PM



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana House panel has unanimously endorsed a measure pushed by a 13-year-old boy that would allow sports leagues to hire youths like him as referees.

The bill was approved Tuesday by the House’s labor committee and now heads to the full chamber for consideration.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports that current Indiana law prevents children under age 14 from being hired except as golf caddies, farm workers and newspaper deliverers.

Matthew Burkart, 13, of Newburgh is pushing to add officiating youth sports events to that list of exemptions so he can referee soccer games.

The bill has the support of Murray Clark, the Indiana Soccer Association president who’s also the former Indiana Republican Party chairman. Clark told the committee the measure “affects about 300 Matthews statewide.”



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