Indiana Wildlife Federation
Legislation for the 2015 Session
The 2015 Legislative Session is complete. Please check back next year for updates during the 2016 session.
Standout Bill Recaps
Constitutional Right to Hunt and Fish
- Senate Joint Resolution 2 is now past its second step to becoming an amendment of the Indiana State Constitution after passing through the General Assembly. SJR002 preserves the right that hunting, fishing and harvesting are public goods which hold a constitutional right through Indiana's heritage. There have been some questions as to the connection of this resolution to a disguised attempt at legalizing canned hunting in the state. This will be a very important bill to keep an eye on which will be represented on the State Referendum ballot of 2016.
- Funding for Indiana natural resources has undergone another year of disappointing budgeting, once again consisting of less than 1% of the entire state budget. It is a consistent concern that natural resources are being disproportionately penalized in the budget. The recent approval of state park and forest user fees has slightly benefitted the conservation efforts to protect our Indiana natural resources but much more needs to be done in order to protect our wildlife habitats for future generations. More about the state budget can be found in HB1001.
High Powered Rifles for Deer Hunting
- The Natural Resoucres Commision has supported the DNR's request to withdraw the proposed rule that would allow high powered rifles for deer hunting in Indiana. There was an abundance of public input from either side relating to the safety of using these guns in the state. People who favored rifle legalization cited safety reports from other states which allow rifles for deer hunting. The opposed parties claimed that the geographic landscape of Indiana (flat) would pose an extreme risk for the distance a rifle bullet can be fired, hitting unknown targets in the distance.
Commercialization of Catfish
Thanks to ongoing research on native catfish populations, a number or organizations including the Indiana Catfish Conservation Association, an IWF affiliate member, have supported changes to Indiana's catfish rules and regulations. This proposed rule will increase the minimum catfish harvesting size from 10 inches to 13 inches. The bill will also only allow one catfish over 35 inches to be harvested per day in order to combat overharvesting and resale to pay lakes for personal gain. This bill is now open for public comments and discussion. The entire bill can be found here for closer detailed inspection.
2015 Legislation: Detailed Bill Results
- SB120 Invasive Species Council, Glick - Support
- SB226 Wild Animal Permits, Crider - Support
- SB249 Agricultural Structures, Leising - Oppose
- SB312 Above Ground Storage Tanks Registration, Charbonneau - Watch
- SB371 Veterans Free License, Becker, Waltz, Tomes - Watch
- SB410 Water Institute, Merritt - Watch
- SB442 Makes Canned Hunting Illegal, Pete Miller - Support
- SB472 Various Veterans' Matters, Merritt, Stoops - Watch
- SB473 Voluntary Monitoring of Wells, Charbonneau - Watch
- SB474 Water Utility Planning Needs, Charbonneau - Watch
- SB498 DNR Sale of Nursery Stock and Seeds, Delph - Watch
- SB503 Net Metering for Electric Utility Customers, Messmer - Watch
- SB553 Various Veterans' Matters, Grooms, - Watch
- SB548 Designated Wild Areas, Stoops - Oppose
- HB1001 State Budget, Brown, Porter - Support (additional funding for conservation)
- HB1097 Large Scale Water Discharges, Aylesworth - Watch
- HB1111 Aquifer Study, Stemler - Watch
- HB1208 Additional Antlered Deer Licenses, Arnold – passed House Committee 1-26-15
- HB1220 Recreational Trails Maintenance, Friend - Watch
- HB1290 Nullification of EPA Rules in Indiana, Judy, Heaton - Oppose
- HB1321 Oil and Natural Gas Regulation, Koch Frye, VanAtter - Oppose
- HB1351 Restrictions on Rule Making, Wolkins - Oppose
- HB1452 Natural Resourse Matters, Eberhart - Support Overall, Oppose one Section
- HB1453 Hunting Preserves, Eberhart - Oppose
- HB1471 Recreational Trails Policy, Friend, Eberhart - Watch
- HB1501 Invasive species council, Baird - Support
- HB1611 National Resources Issues, McMillian - Oppose
- HB1629 Lifetime license, Morris, Ober - Watch
- SJR002 Constitutional Right to Hunt and Fish, Steele - Support