Welcome to the 2014 edition of IWF's Bill Watch
The 2014 Indiana General Assembly Legislative Session Calendar may be viewed here . This is a shorter session which ends March 14, 2014.
If you have not met your Senator or Representative, please give them a call or stop by to introduce yourself. Don't know your legislators? Find them here.
Update March 5th, 2014 - Bills that were amended and need to be reconsidered by the house of origin are being scheduled for a conference committee where the bill will be worked then sent to the House and Senate floors again for a final vote. This is the link to see all bills that are going to conference committee. http://iga.in.gov/documents/9dc120b6. The names of the conferees and advisors on each committee will be posted soon. The meetings are public but there’s usually very little notice because things are moving fast at this point.
There are 6 amended bills we are following that are going to a conference committee:
SB 4: Natural Resources Matters- lifetime license fees language added by Rep. Sean Eberhart of Shelbyville, 317-232-9793. Allows Natural Resources Commission to make rules allowing this. It’s a money loser as we all know and we would like to see the language stripped out.
SB 52: Natural Resources Criminal Penalties – changes DNR misdemeanors to infractions. Bill author is Sen. Brent Steele of Bedford, 317-232-9477. Hope is to pull out all Title 14-22 language and have DNR work on it over the summer, then bring another bill next year that would better protect natural resources and wildlife by keeping most of the misdemeanor penalties . We keep hearing this is the direction but will believe it when it really happens.
SB404: Hunting preserves – “canned hunting” Sen. Carlin Yoder was bill author. Dead for this year unless an unprecedented attempt is made to amend language at conference committee. 99.9% sure it’s done for this session. Thanks for all the calls and emails that stopped this bill in the Senate and kept it from being amended into language in the House. This is an example of the power of your grassroots voice!
HB1005: Government Reduction – could restrict Natural Resources Commission actions except in emergency. Author is Rep. Judd McMillin of Brookville, 317-232-9815. The bill was amended to remove the objectionable language by Sen. Scott Schneider of Indianapolis and we thank him for that, 317-232-9812 – but this is the Governor’s bill and one of his staff testified they would like to see that put back in. Will have to see what happens in conference committee.
HB1050: Special circumstances hunting card. By Rep. Lloyd Arnold of Leavenworth in Crawford County, 317-232-9833. This is a good bill that allows people with special circumstances and handicaps hunt with a licensed hunter. We thank Rep. Arnold for making it possible for these folks to hunt in a safe and manageable way. The bill was amended to fix a detail. No canned hunting language. Should be ok.
HB1143: Environmental Rules and Stds – “no more stringent than”. (Bill is dead, not going to conf. committee, but wanted you to know about it.) Authored by Rep. Dave Wolkins of Warsaw, 317-232-9816. Passed by House but died in Senate Committee. We thank Sen. Ed Charbonneau of Valparaiso, 317-232-9468, for hearing the bill but not taking a vote. Would have taken away the authority of the state to determine its own level of environmental quality and standards.
HB1307: Various natural resources matters. Authored by Rep. Sean Eberhart of Shelbyville, 317-232-9793, and is the yearly DNR “clean up” bill that makes several minor changes on a variety of topics. Usually not controversial. Amended by Sen. Carlin Yoder of Kosciusko and Elkhart Counties, 317-232-9480, with language that would now allow the Natural Resources Commission to write rules permitting chasing of mammals for dog training. This was explained as a bill for rabbit chasing but in fact does now allow fox and coyote running if NRC passes rules. We don’t expect NRC to do that, but it does put the pressure at a lower level.
Last Day of this Legislative Session is March 14!