HEC LEGISLATIVE NEWS 
IN THIS ISSUE
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
View on Instagram
View our videos on YouTube
Get Involved!

Interested in taking part in the legislative process right in your hometown? You're in luck, as there are two opportunities available to you throughout the coming months.

GREENING YOUR COMMUNITY EVENTS:
HEC hosts these events in communities around the state that bring legislative info right to your neighborhood. Click here to learn more.

THIRD HOUSE MEETINGS:
Many legislators hold "third house" meetings throughout the legislative session during which their constituents have the opportunity to attend meetings with their legislators in their home districts and voice their opinions and concerns. Click here for a full list of upcoming meetings.
Welcome HEC Green Businesses 
Say hello to our newest green business partners!

emPowering Progress
(Columbus)

Sowing the Seeds
Natural Born Juicers (Indianapolis)

Keeping Afloat
Ezra's Enlightened Cafe (Indianapolis)


(Waterloo)

Greenstreet Ltd (Indianapolis)

GRēNēē Consulting (Indianapolis)

Indy Living Services (Indianapolis)
ISSUE NO. 1-2016 / JANUARY 2016 
Bill Watch Spotlight: Legislators May Push Again for Unprecedented Constitutional Protection for Giant Agribusinesses
manure runoff
Can you imagine that Indiana could become a place where polluting factory farms have constitutional rights?  It is possible that lawmakers will again introduce a measure to give unprecedented constitutional protection for giant agribusinesses and their practices, which include storing millions of gallons of livestock waste in football-field sized, unlined lagoons, aerial spraying, and confining animals in gestation crates and battery cages. If such a Right to Farm (aka "Right to Harm") constitutional measure were to pass, factory farm operators - even those who knowingly pollute our air and water - could be shielded by rights equivalent to those we currently consider to be sacred, such as the right to free speech and freedom of religion. To learn more, go to Bill Watch 2016.

Call to Action: Please be sure to "Like" Hoosier Environmental Council on Facebook to receive real-time updates and action steps should this dangerous policy measure be re-introduced in the Indiana legislature.
HB 1082: Would Tie the Hands of Indiana's Environmental Policymakers
Oppose HB 1082, this year's version of the recurring 'no-more-stringent-than' bill. If HB 1082 were to pass, Indiana's own environmental experts would be barred, in certain situations, from determining how best to address environmental concerns that are unique to Indiana and prevented from adopting environmental safeguards to tackle Indiana's pollution problems that are not sufficiently addressed at the federal level.  Similar laws in other states have led to costly & prolonged lawsuits and paralysis of state environmental agencies. Learn more about this bill here.

Call to Action: Tell legislators on the House Environmental Affairs committee that you oppose HB 1082!
HB 1155 & SB 365: Would Expand Protection of Indiana's Forests
Bills have been introduced in both the Indiana House and Senate to protect "old forest" areas in Indiana state forests.  HB 1155, introduced by Reps. Braun (R-Jasper), Koch (R-Bedford) and Cook (R-Cicero), and SB 365, introduced by Sens. Bassler (R-Washington), Ford (R-Terre Haute) and Stoops (D-Bloomington) would set aside 10% of the land area of each state forest as areas without timber harvesting to provide mature forest wildlife habitat and backcountry recreation opportunities. Prior to 2005, backcountry areas were protected in the state forests; since then, logging has increased four-fold, leaving fewer state forest lands to provide these priceless, pristine experiences.

Call to Action: Please contact members of the House and Senate Natural Resources committees and urge them to support the bill and advocate for a committee hearing!
SB 109: Would Legalize A Risky Hunting Practice
Last Monday, SB 109 passed out of the Senate Natural Resources Committee despite strong criticism by conservation, hunting, animal protection, and environmental organizations including HEC.  The bill legalizes shooting captive-raised deer, sheep, and goats in fenced preserves.  In 2015 the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the Indiana DNR did not have the authority to regulate privately-owned wildlife, opening the door for these facilities to operate without regulation. SB 109 would provide for only minimum regulation, and also allows the expansion of this risky and inhumane industry in Indiana. 

Call to Action: Please contact your state senator and urge him or her to support "strengthening amendments" to SB 109.  Read more on Billwatch 2016.
SB 366: Would Threaten a Key Protector of Local Drinking Water Supply
Indiana's Solid Waste Management Districts (SWMDs) are on the frontlines of safeguarding our drinking water supply. They collect innumerable household hazardous waste items, from auto fluids to residential fertilizers & pesticides to used medicines. They also collect construction, disaster, and demolition debris. Beyond their role in preventing this waste from contaminating our water supply, SWMDs are huge forces behind Indiana's recycling programs, particularly in more rural parts of our state. Despite their major benefits to Hoosiers, the SWMDs are threatened; SB 366 would empower a community's county commissioners, through a single vote, to eliminate a community's SWMD altogether. If a community were to opt out of an SWMD, it could be very difficult, politically, to provide vital environmental protection services through other means due to  the continuing financial pressures that many local governments are under.

SB 256: Could Undermine Requirements for Responsible Recycling
Although HEC supports the goal of SB 256 - to promote recycling of solid and hazardous wastes - we are concerned that such legislation, as written, could go around existing requirements that ensure that recycling of hazardous waste is done responsibly and without threatening human health or the environment. HEC appreciates the productive conversations that we have had thus far to try to improve this bill.

Call to Action: Please be sure to "Like" Hoosier Environmental Council on Facebook to receive real-time updates on this important bill.
Home  /  Blog  /  About  /  Donate / Contact

Hoosier Environmental Council | 3951 N. Meridian Street | Suite 100 | Indianapolis | IN | 46208