Thank you to everyone who joined our Legislative Team on February 8th for our 2024 Mid-Session Update Webinar ! We had lots of great questions – check out some of the questions and responses from our team below.

General Questions

How do you stay positive in dealing with the Indiana legislature?

One of the best ways to counter feeling overwhelmed by the challenges our society faces is to be engaged on these issues. For many, becoming involved provides a positive channel for that energy and brings you closer to a community of people who share your values. Additionally, we do see progress. At HEC, we regularly see the impact we are having, even though we face a challenging policy environment. We know our biggest victories will be born out in years rather than months, and we continue to appreciate and celebrate accomplishments as we reach them.

Wetlands-Related Questions

Where can I find the language from your petition to Governor Eric Holcomb about House Bill 1383, the bill that would reduce wetland protections?

One of HEC’s big focuses of the first half of the Legislative Session was House Bill 1383, a bill that would reduce wetland protections. Read more about HB 1383 on our Bill Watch page. As a part of our efforts to mobilize Hoosiers against this bill, HEC circulated a petition to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, urging him to tell State Senators to oppose this bill. While HB 1383 ultimately did advance from the Senate and has been signed by Gov. Holcomb, HEC is proud to have had over 1300 signatures on our petition in just over 4 days. Thank you to everyone who spoke out! Read our petition.

Who were the 8 Senate Republicans who joined Democratic Senators in opposition to House Bill 1383? Did any of them offer any opinions on why they voted no?

House Bill 1383, a bill that would reduce wetland protections, passed the Indiana Senate with a vote of 32-17. There were 8 Republican Senators that joined 9 Democrats to vote against this legislation. They include:

  • Sen. Eric Bassler (R- Washington, Dist. 39)
  • Sen. Michael Crider (R- Greenfield, Dist. 28)
  • Sen. Spencer Deery (R- Lafayette, Dist. 23)
  • Sen. Dan Dernulc (R- Highland, Dist. 1)
  • Sen. Sue Glick (R- LaGrange, Dist. 13)
  • Sen. Jeff Raatz (R- Richmond, Dist. 27)
  • Sen. Greg Walker (R- Columbus, Dist. 41)
  • Sen. Kyle Walker (R- Lawrence, Dist. 31)

Of these 8 no votes among the Republican Caucus, only Sen. Glick spoke about her vote against the bill, noting the importance of wetlands.

Questions about other legislation and issues we’re following

What are the chances for Senate Bill 52 in the House?

Senate Bill 52 would handicap planning efforts for public transit planning throughout Indiana by prohibiting dedicated transit lanes for one year. If passed, SB 52 would have an immediate affect on Indianapolis’ transit expansion efforts with the Blue Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route, which is currently in the planning process. SB 52 passed the Senate with bipartisan opposition, and now heads to the House, where it has been assigned to the House Roads and Transportation Committee. At the time of this blog post, SB 52 has not been scheduled for a hearing in this committee.

We encourage you to take action for transit by contacting your state representative and urging them to vote NO on SB 52 – send your state rep. a message using our quick advocacy form!

What Indiana County has a sheep grazing agrivoltaic project?

One agrivoltaic project with sheep grazing is in Henry County – check out the Henry County project!

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