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2019 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 7

With only one more week of committee meetings remaining, calendars filled quickly this week while Committee Chairs worked to clear their schedules of bills. CAC attended meetings of the Senate and House Utilities Committees, the House Environmental Affairs Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Committee. In addition, we monitored other committee hearings and marked the progression of legislation we’re watching on floors of the House and Senate.

Despite sitting on the Senate calendar for almost a week, Senate Bill 105, the Redistricting bill was not called by its author to be heard. So we joined All IN for Democracy in a call to action to jumpstart Indiana’s only hope for an independent redistricting process. We are asking folks to contact their Senator to get the bill moving again

In the House Environmental Affairs Committee, House Bill 1378 was given a hearing on Wednesday. HB1378 would tackle the many glaring loopholes in IDEM’s limited authority to regulate air and water pollution from factory farms, also referred to as confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. CAFOs dangerously pollute Indiana’s air and water with millions of gallons of industrial farm waste. Our Margo Tucker testified on the bill, saying it’s a good step forward but unfortunately the bill was defeated. For more on HB1378, check out the Hoosier Environmental Council brief here.

Our Jennifer Washburn testified in the Senate Utilities Committee, speaking to Senate Bill 472 which deals with water and sewer utility mergers and acquisitions. We remain concerned with language in the bill which amends the definition of used and useful. While the bill limits the amended definition to the water and sewer acquisition statute, we are concerned with setting a precedent which could spill over to other sections of Title 8.

Senate Bill 442  was heard again this week by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. SB442 deals with the underground storage of carbon dioxide and is related to the proposed Wabash Valley Resources project in Terre Haute. Our Kerwin Olson testified on the bill, expressing concerns about the harmful effects of carbon sequestration, both fiscally and environmentally. The bill was held without vote.

Upcoming This Week

  • Senate Bill 613 will be heard in Wednesday in Senate Commerce and Technology. SB613 will create new payday installment loans of up to $1800 in addition to the current payday products Indiana already offers. Plus, with these loans, lenders can now add on fun stuff like credit insurance to make them even more expensive. This is an anti-consumer bill that the Institute on Working Families is currently working.
  • SB442 is expected to be amended and voted on in Senate Appropriations.
  • HB 1331, the HOA solar bill will be on the House Calendar for second reading, meaning it may be amended.

To follow these bills in real time, make sure you follow us on Twitter. We tweet throughout the week as to the progress of bills we mention in our reports and on our Indiana General Assembly Bill Watch website.

Respectfully Submitted,
Lindsay Haake & Kerwin Olson

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