2016 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 3
This is the third weekly report designed to inform CAC board and staff, as well as CAC members and the general public regarding our activities and work during the 2016 Indiana General Assembly.
This week was a truncated workweek due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. CAC staff presented testimony at five committee hearings, attended many more and had constant dialogue with legislators and staff throughout the week. CAC is tracking 60 bills including a newly filed Senate Joint Resolution 6 by Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford), known as “Right To Farm.” While not scheduled for a hearing, we are following this issue along with other advocates as we have in years past.
As part of more than fifteen partners in opposition to HB 1082, also known as the “No-More-Stringent-Than” bill, CAC presented testimony on Wednesday in the House Environmental Affairs Committee. The committee heard two hours of testimony and the Chairman announced the committee vote would likely take place next week. Earlier in the day CAC testified in support of another initiative aimed at reducing food deserts, HB 1077, authored by Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis). The bill will likely receive a vote next week in the House Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs.
Earlier in the week, CAC joined the Association of Indiana Counties, the Hoosier Environmental Council and Indiana Association of Cities and Towns in opposition to HB 1053, authored by Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Boonville). HB 1053 would completely do away with local control by preempting city or county policies regulating plastic bags. Despite the wealth of opposition, the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee passed the bill 11-2. On second reading in the House, the bill unfortunately survived despite an attempt by Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) to strip the bill of its substance.
SB15, the food desert measure authored by Sen. Randy Head passed the Senate on Thursday. The bill now heads to the House where it will be sponsored by Rep. Julie Olthoff (R- Merrillville).
Items upcoming this week
- House Environmental Affairs Committee may vote on the “No-More-Stringent-Than” bill (HB 1082) Wednesday but a committee announcement has not yet been made.
- Monday at 9am in Room 233 the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee will hear a series of bills dealing with water infrastructure including SB383 and SB347.
- HB 1053 will likely receive a House vote on Monday after which it will be sent to the Senate for further action.