Legislative Update

In January, OMLCIA began tracking Senate Bill 249 and posting information on the OMLCIA website. This news post contains an update on SB 249. In addition, it provides information on Senate Joint Resolution 12 which was defeated February 24 on the third reading in the Senate. OMLCIA will continue to monitor this topic and report to residents. It is an important issue that can have a long-lasting negative environmental impact on our lakes. 

Senate Bill 249 - Update

As initially authored, this bill would prohibit local governments from preventing, regulating, or restricting factory farm (CAFO) operations. It would have made it illegal for an Indiana county, municipality, or township to adopt any ordinance of rule that would prohibit a farmer from constructing a livestock facility in an area zoned for agricultural use. In this form, SB 249 would likely have a negative environmental impact on our lakes.

SB 249 was amended and subsequently passed by the Senate on February 9 with a vote of Yea 46; Nay 3; Excused 1. The bill was referred to the House on February 16.

As amended, the bill requires the Purdue Extension and the Purdue University College of Agriculture to study the impact of local land use ordinances on the construction of buildings or other structures used in the breeding, feeding, and housing of livestock. The report proposal will be a comprehensive overview of how each of the state’s 92 counties is addressing the construction of new animal facilities. The study will be submitted to the State Budget Committee and the Legislative Council before November 1, 2015. Purdue University estimates the cost of the proposed study to be $43,900 for salary, travel, and printing. The bill does not make an appropriation for the cost of the study.

Senate Joint Resolution 12

Senate Joint Resolution 12 is a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Indiana. To be effective, a proposed amendment must be agreed to by two consecutive general assemblies and ratified by a majority of the state's voters voting on the question.

This SJR had a first reading January 8 and was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This Committee adopted SJR 12 on February 16 and sent it back to the Senate. On the second reading, SJR 12 was ordered engrossed. On the third reading, SJR 12 was defeated. The detailed timeline follows:

January 8 - Authored by Senator Brent Steele

January 8 - First Reading: referred to Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Provides that the Constitution of the State of Indiana guarantees the right of the people of Indiana to engage in diverse farming and ranching practices.
  •  Provides that the general assembly may not pass a law that unreasonably abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ or refuse to employ effective agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices.
  • Provides that the new constitutional provision does not modify any: (1) provision of the common law; (2) statute relating to trespass or eminent domain; or (3) other property right, existing or previously enacted statute, or existing or previously adopted administrative rule.

February 16 - Senate Committee on Agriculture:  Adopted

Yea: Mrvan; Messmer; Perfect; Steele; Tomes; Leising

Nay: Randolph; Criter

Excused: Glick                 

February 17 - Committee Report: do pass, adopted

February 19 – Second reading: ordered engrossed

February 19 – Senator Carlin Yoder added as second author

February 24 – Third reading: defeated. Yea 22. Nay 28.

Yea:  Boots; Holdman; Messmer; Tomes; Buck; Houchin; Mishler; Walker; Delph; Kruse; Mrvan; Yoder; Eckerty; Leising; Schneider; Young, M; Grooms; Long; Smith; Head; Merritt; Steele

Nay:  Alting; Broden; Kenley; Randolph; Arnold; Brown; Lanane; Rogers; Banks, A.; Charbonneau; Miller, Pat; Stoops; Bassler; Crider; Miller, Pete; Tallian; Becker; Ford; Niemeyer; Taylor; Bray; Glick; Perfect; Waltz; Breaux; Hershman; Raatz; Zakas


For your information:

Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources: email addresses

Senator Leising email…

Senator Glick email…

Senator Crider email…

Senator Messmer email…

Senator Perfect email…

Senator Steele email…

Senator Tomes email…

Senator Mrvan email…

Senator Randolph email…

Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources: toll free number


From the Indiana General Assembly website:

Senate Bill 249 

Senate Joint Resolution 12

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