In this Edition of "What the HEC is Happening in the Statehouse?"

Monday will be a big day for our environment - at the state, local, and federal level - which means that we urge you to take action this weekend!

1. At the state level, call lawmakers re: factory farms, solar energy, & forest funding.

2. At the local level (if you are a resident of Indianapolis), email your City Councilors to express your support for mass transit, climate action, & forests.

3. At the federal level, add the office numbers of your Senators to your phones - and contact Senator Young about Crown Hill North Woods.

And be sure to check out an array of events below to get informed & engaged!
1a) State-Level Action: Call Your Representative BEFORE MONDAY to vote NO before final floor vote on factory farm bill (HB 1494)!

House Bill 1494 was amended yet again this week. Unfortunately, this latest amendment did nothing to improve this bill.

HB 1494, as it currently stands:
  • Creates confusion about what sort of approval is needed from IDEM before expanding a factory farm;
  • Creates confusion about whether notice to neighbors before expanding a factory farm is required;
  • Replaces the current required disclosure of the true owners of a factory farm and their full environmental histories with a weakened provision that requires disclosure only a.) of the person responsible for permit compliance and b.) that person's environmental track record for the 5 years preceding the application.
Indiana's safeguards from factory farms are already weak.   Our state environmental agency (IDEM's) only legal basis to deny a permit --- to construct or expand a factory farm -- is for making a "material misrepresentation" in the permit application. By limiting the scope of disclosure and creating confusion as to what is required to expand a factory farm, HB 1494 takes us in the wrong direction. 

To learn more visit our Bill Watch 2017 page.


The House of Representatives will likely vote on this dangerous measure on Monday. So, it is imperative that you urge your Representative BEFORE MONDAY to vote NO on HB 1494! It is always best to call (and leave a voicemail if need be) as opposed to sending an email.
1b) State Level Action: Call Your State Senator BEFORE MONDAY to vote NO before final floor vote on anti-solar bill (SB 309)!
SB 309 would devastate Indiana's solar energy future by:

-Forbidding net metering for homes, businesses, & places of worship that would want to plug new solar systems into the grid after July 1, 2022.

-Preventing the net metering crediting system from transferring to the buyer of a home/business/place of worship that currently has net metering.

-Prohibiting innovative approaches like  "virtual net metering".

-Imposing, potentially, a new fixed fee -- on top of fixed fees that are already imposed on all investor-owned utility ratepayers -- on customer-owned generators of solar energy.


Leave a voicemail for your Senator BEFORE MONDAY.  Urge a NO vote on SB 309!
1c) State Level Action: Contact Your State Senator in Support of a Greener Budget
On Monday the Indiana House will adopt the budget bill, HB 1001.

Disappointingly, the House version of the new state budget contains no new investments in environmental protection or conservation of outdoor lands. HEC and partners have sought to reverse the decline in funding for IDEM and the Indiana DNR, boost investment in new public land conservation via the Harrison Conservation Trust and increase funding for Clean Water Indiana. We have also joined with sustainable transportation advocates to support more funding for mass transit and passenger rail service, including the Hoosier State line between Indianapolis and Chicago.


The State Senate will begin its budget discussions soon - please contact your state senator today and urge him or her to support greater state investment in our quality of life, to protect public health, conserve our wild places, and offer sustainable transportation choices. To learn about our specific budget goals, click here.
2) Local Level Action: Contact Your City Councilor in Support of Mass Transit, Climate Action, & Forest Protection
If you're a resident of Indianapolis, Monday will be a big day for the cause of environmental sustainability, with final votes taking place on the historic mass transit funding plan and on a landmark "climate recovery" resolution!

1. Vote "Yes" for the transit funding proposal.
2. Vote "Yes" for the climate recovery resolution.
3. Urge Mayor Joe Hogsett to advocate for the no-harm solution to avoid the irreversible damage to Crown Hill North Woods, the largest old growth forest in our capital city.
3) Federal Level Action: In Anticipation of Trump Executive Orders, Add Key Numbers to Your Phone
Donald Trump is expected to soon sign Executive Orders that will dismantle or seriously weaken the Obama Administration's policies to address climate change and to improve the quality of some of our key drinking water sources. In general, Americans who care about the environment, whatever their political background, must be engaged to stand up for important protections of our air, water, and climate.

1. Please add the office numbers of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (202-224-4814) and U.S. Senator Todd Young (202-224-5623) to your cell phone.

2. Contact your U.S. Senators and request them to contact the U.S. Veterans Administration and urge the "no harm alternative" to the Crown Hill North Woods -- a solution that would honor our veterans and forever protect the beautiful natural heritage of the North Woods.   

3. "Like" Hoosier Environmental Council on Facebook to follow daily developments that affect your  environment at the state, local, and national levels. 

4. Respond to our federal-related calls to action by calling the DC numbers for your U.S. Senators above -- and ask to speak to an actual Staff member.  

Get More Involved by Attending Upcoming Events
And Consider Joining Our Volunteer Program!

Learn about the most urgent environmental issues moving through the Statehouse and advocate for a cleaner and healthier Indiana by attending the following upcoming event:

March 2:   Greening Your Community  - Franklin College

You can also talk with your legislators by attending town hall meetings (called "Third House" events); these are happening across Indiana in the coming days! 

Hendricks CountyMonday, February 27th
Bartholomew County - Monday, February 27th and Monday, March 6th
Carroll County - Saturday, March 4th
Goshen - Saturday, March 4th
Greater LafayetteSaturday, March 4th
Montgomery CountySaturday, March 4th
Hancock County - Tuesday, March 7th

Learn More

If you would like to learn more about the bills moving through the legislature and talking points for conversing with your representative and senator, please visit our  Bill Watch 2017 page .


If you are interested in learning more about advocacy and getting involved in making a positive impact on Indiana's environment, then consider joining our Environmental Advocate program! Our next Indianapolis training is coming up at 7:00 pm on March 8th. RSVP - or send questions - to our Outreach Coordinator.


Have you been interested in getting more involved in environmental advocacy but unable to travel to central Indiana to get training? Consider attending one of our two upcoming Environmental Advocate trainings in Steuben County (in Northeast Indiana) on March 7th!

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