2016 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 2
This is the second 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.
CAC staff attended multiple hearings and coalition meetings this week. We’re following more than forty bills with more legislation continuing to appear through the public process as we speak. By the week’s end 822 separate pieces of legislation had been filed including 397 Senate bills and 425 House bills.
Much of the Statehouse was centered on Governor Pence’s State of the State speech on Tuesday night. The rhetoric and chitchat was dominated by education issues, infrastructure and the continued fallout from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
CAC was part of a legion of advocates at both the Joint Meeting of Senate and House Agriculture Committees and the Senate Utilities Committee. In the Agriculture arena we are continuing to monitor and influence the discussion regarding Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Pursuant to SEA 249-2015, Purdue University presented their completed analysis of county-by-county policy data.
In the first meeting of the Senate Utilities Committee we learned the ins and outs of Senate Utilities Chairman Jim Merritt’s (R-Indianapolis) vision for the Future of Energy in Indiana. After presentations from the Edison Electric Institute, The Nuclear Energy Institute, and AES, we heard from the Indiana Industrial Energy Consumers (INDIEC) and Jesse Kharbanda with the Hoosier Environmental Council. The committee adjourned without hearing any bills. Chairman Merritt indicated he would not be holding another hearing unless there was House utility legislation to be heard during the second half of the session.
Items upcoming this week
- House Environmental Affairs Committee hears the “No-More-Stringent-Than” bill (HB 1082) that disallows the state from putting into place any environmental policy more stringent than federal law on Wednesday at 10:30am in Room 156C.
- Senate Bill 15, an initiative aimed at eradicating food deserts we testified on last week, will be on third reading in the Senate on Tuesday.
- House Bill 1077, another fresh food initiative authored by Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), will be heard Wednesday at 8:30am in 156B.