HEC enews winter trees
February 3, 2018
What the HEC is Happening in the Statehouse?
1.) This is the final weekend to take action on Senate bills before they move over to the Indiana House of Representatives. Contact Your State Senator this Weekend!
Please email or call your State Senator to convey three messages, if you have not already:

a.) On solar energy, "Yes" on SB 207
b.) On redistricting, "Yes" on SB 326
c.) On forests: Express your concern on SB 275's denial of a hearing in the Senate Natural Resources Committee -- despite having twelve co-sponsors, overwhelmingly Republican.

Our State Senators will have to act on the above bills no later this Tuesday, February 6th, or they will be "dead" for the session.

BACKGROUND ON THESE BILLS

SB 207
Would reduce Homeowner Association regulatory burdens on homeowners seeking to install solar. You can view this bill here and get more context about this bill by watching this video .

SB 326
Would create first-ever standards for how we draw legislative maps in Indiana. This will help to create fairer maps and reduce gerrymandering in our state. This bill does not, however, create an independent redistricting commission. SB 326 is brief and can be accessed here .

SB 275
Would safeguard 30% of our state forests from logging. Despite securing an unprecedented 10 Republican Co-Sponsors and 2 Democratic Co-Sponsors, this bill was denied a hearing by Senate Natural Resources Committee Chair Sue Glick (R-LaGrange). The stalling of SB 275 is tied to opposition by the Indiana DNR and the state's timber industry, which steadfastly refuse to accept any meaningful public involvement in the management of Indiana's public forests.

Learn more about these bills by going to our Bill Watch 2018 page .

Next weekend, we'll be discussing other bills that will need your attention -- two of which (HB 1096, HB 1289), will weaken the power of local governments to protect your environment, and one of which could increase the environmental burdens on one of Indiana's biggest cities (HB 1318).

Please don't miss the chance to contact your State Senator about SB 326, SB 207, and SB 275 !
2.) Contact Your State Representative about Their Vote on Forest Protection

In a ground breaking move, the Indiana House voted on Thurs., Feb 1st on a proposal to protect old forest areas.

Despite strong bipartisan support, Rep. Matt Pierce's old forest amendment -- offered on HB 1292 -- failed by a vote of 35 to 50.

Here is the critical silver lining : Thirteen Republicans joined twenty-two Democrats in voting for the amendment that would have set aside 10% of Indiana State Forests as old forests free from logging!

We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Rep. Pierce (D-Bloomington), the amendment author, as well as the members who spoke in favor on the House floor: Rep. Cook (R-Cicero), Rep. Schaibley (R-Carmel), Rep. Hamilton (D-Indy), and Rep. Borders (R-Jasonville). Forest advocates will continue the campaign to protect the wild, old forest areas of our state forests. Thanks to all of our colleagues including  Indiana Forest Alliance , which has led the old forest campaign, and the  Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter .

TAKE ACTION:
Please click here to find out how your state rep voted.  Call your representative and express your appreciation if they voted "Yes" and your discontent if they voted "No". We need to keep speaking up for old growth forests!
3.) Ta ke Part in Upcoming Trainings, Workshops, and Town Hall Meetings
Want to magnify your impact for Indiana's environment, but not sure how to do it? 

a.) Please join us at this upcoming HEC event to get informed and empowered!


b.) Hear HEC speak at the following two events!


c.) You can also talk with your legislators by attending town hall meetings (called "Third House" events); these are happening across Indiana in the coming weeks! Please be sure to talk about the issues that we have been raising in our weekly e-blasts (i.e., "What the HEC is Happening at the Statehouse?"), from forests to solar to redistricting to protecting our rivers & streams from factory farm waste and stormwater pollution.

Feb. 5, Columbus
Feb. 10, Tipton
Feb. 10, Huntington
Feb. 16, Fort Wayne
Feb. 16, South Bend
Feb. 17, Lafayette
Feb. 17, Garrett

Please let us know if you encounter Third House meetings in your communities -- by looking at your newspaper, e-news from your local Chamber or local Farm Bureau, etc. -- and contact our  Outreach Coordinator so that we can add these to our website's calendar.

d.) If you would like to learn more about anticipated bills this upcoming legislative session and would like to read talking points to help you engage with your representative and senator, please visit our  Bill Watch 2018 page .
 
Hoosier Environmental Council | 317-685-8800 | comments@hecweb.org | www.hecweb.org