It has been several months since the first day of the session, and many bills – both positive and negative for the environment– have failed to advance in the 2013 legislative session. Some bills – like SB 546, which would have created consumer education programs about phosphorus in lawn fertilizers – would have improved our environment if they had passed. Other bills – like SB 88, SJR 21, and many others – would have reduced or even eliminated some levels of oversight on factory farms, taken away the authority of state agencies to regulate pollutants and sources of pollution, and cut funding to state agencies and conservation programs to protect our air, water, and open spaces. And positive legislation, including the public transit bill and budget bill funding for conservation, remain alive.
Your efforts – your calls to your legislators, your emails, and your attendance at the dedicated lobby days for environmentalists and transit advocates, have made a real difference in the fate of both the good and bad bills.
We are now down to the final two weeks of the legislative session, and only a few major bills remain alive for this year. In the next few days, conference committees will debate the remaining bills and determine what the final language of the legislation will be.
This is our last chance to ensure that the bills coming out of these conference committees will protect environmental health, provide much-needed funding for conservation programs, and assure that state agencies tasked with regulating pollution sources have adequate funding to do their jobs.
Visit our Bill Watch page to learn more about the conference committee action on these bills that will impact our environment – and how you can ensure they are as strong as possible!
- The Budget Bill – HB 1001, which appropriates funding for the Indiana Heritage Trust, Clean Water Indiana, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and other conservation programs and state agencies.
- Public Transportation – HB 1011, a bill which will create regional transportation authorities and allow municipalities to raise funds for mass transit by referendum.
- Ag-Gag Legislation – SB 373 which, despite amendments, will still likely have a chilling effect on undercover investigations and whistle-blowing on the part of employees that could prevent food-borne illnesses, animal cruelty, and unsafe and unsanitary conditions on factory farms.
- Canned Hunting – SB 487, a bill which will legalize shooting deer in fenced enclosures, “canned hunting”, in Indiana. Canned hunting violates ethical standards, impairs wildlife health, and threatens Indiana’s economy.