2016 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 7
With only two more weeks of committee meetings remaining, calendars filled quickly this week while Committee Chairs worked to clear their schedule of bills. CAC attended meetings of the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Utilities Committee in addition to monitoring legislation moving through the amendment process on floors of the House and Senate.
On Monday morning CAC testified in opposition of The “No-More-Stringent-Than” bill, HB 1082, authored by Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Winona Lake). More than two-and-a-half hours of testimony were heard in Senate Environmental Affairs. As we did during the House hearing, CAC stood together with a large coalition of organizations and individuals opposing the bill. While the Committee Chair, Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) did not hold a vote, the bill remains on the calendar for the next meeting of the Committee.
In the House Utilities Committee Wednesday, CAC testified in support of Senate Bill 347, a bill enabling more comprehensive reporting of water resource issues including water distribution challenges and infrastructure needs. The bill is authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) and passed the committee 11-0.
On Thursday Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) attempted and unfortunately failed to amend House Bill 1053 during Second Reading debate in the Senate. Sen. Stoops’ amendment contained the same language as his SB 386, a market based recycling program, which did not receive a hearing. As a reminder, HB 1053 preempts local authority concerning plastic grocery bags and sets a dangerous precedent while trouncing on the Indiana Home Rule statute.
Upcoming Next Week
- The Senate is scheduled to vote on HB 1053 Monday.
- The House is scheduled to debate SB 347 on Second Reading Monday with a vote as early as Tuesday.
- On Monday the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee will discuss HB 1082, possibly amending the bill and possibly voting on the measure.
A Scheduling Note
Senate leadership announced that Second and Third Reading deadlines will be accelerated due to hotel room availability for legislators because of the Big Ten tournament. While the House did not announce changes, CAC anticipates an early adjournment sine die, with 2nd Reading deadline on February 29th.