January 12, 2018
HEC enews winter trees
What the HEC is Happening in the Statehouse?
Welcome to the 2018 Indiana General Assembly!

The 2018 Legislative Session is in full swing and we here at HEC are doing our best to review bills as they are filed, assess their potential impacts, talk to key legislators, and keep YOU informed! Please be sure to follow us on social media - Facebook , Twitter , and more - as well as regularly checking our Bill Watch page for the latest information on legislation and actions!

So far this session we have identified these key areas we are focusing on: protecting our state forests, expanding solar, protecting Hoosier communities and waterways from harm due to industrial livestock operations, and redistricting reform. (Why redistricting? Read on!)

Please see the information below on all of these topics, and check out the upcoming opportunities for you, your friends, family, and neighbors to get involved in your communities across the state in the coming weeks.

We look forward to having you join us in advocating for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Indiana in 2018!

Sincerely,

The HEC Team
Redistricting Reform

Gerrymandering may seem like a slightly "out of place" issue for an environmental organization to address. However, the current redistricting process leads to non-competitive districts, low voter turnout, less civic engagement, and in some cases more ideologically extreme lawmakers, all of which make it exceptionally difficult to work to improve environmental protections across the state.

Happily, a broad coalition on independent redistricting has put together a proposal that merges the best features from redistricting laws across the country to create a nonpartisan redistricting commission. This proposal has resulted in the introduction of Senate Bill 159 in the state legislature.

TAKE ACTION:
Please  contact your State Senator  to urge him or her to tell Senate Elections Chair, Sen. Greg Walker, to hear SB 159.
Urge Your State Senators to Protect Wild Areas in our State Forests by Supporting Senate Bill 275
Sen. Eric Bassler (R-Washington), joined by Senators Eric Koch (R-Bedford) and Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute), have introduced a bill to set aside 30% of state forest lands as "old forest" areas that are free from logging. Traditional outdoor recreation pursuits such as hiking, camping, hunting, birdwatching, and foraging would continue to be allowed in these wild, old forest areas but commercial timber harvests would be prohibited. SB 275 is intended to bring balance to the Indiana DNR's intensive logging program which targets long-established "backcountry areas" as well as other older forest areas for logging.  

TAKE ACTION:
  1. Ask your state senator today to cosponsor SB 275.
  2. Ask your senator to urge Sen. Glick, chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, to schedule the bill for hearing.
  3. Attend the Support Senate Bill 275 lobby day on Tuesday, January 16th. Learn more here.
Thank These New & Renewing HEC Green Businesses!
We want to give a big shout-out to our new and renewing HEC Green Businesses listed below! They are on the forefront of making Indiana a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable place. Consider their services and thank them for supporting our work!

emPowering Progress
Rectify Solar - Central Indiana
NUVO - Indianapolis

Get on the Bus
Renewable Energy Systems - Northeast Indiana
GreenCycle - Central Indiana

Sowing the Seeds
Natural Awakenings - Indianapolis

Keeping Afloat
Foods Alive - Angola (online)
Indy Soft Water - Indianapolis
IndyLiving PopUp - Indianapolis
HEC Green Business Spotlight
NUVO, Inc.'s mission is simple: to empower intelligent, open-minded innovators through storytelling. As Indiana's largest independent alternative news organization, NUVO is created by and for people who love our community, our culture and our environment. Watch NUVO for coverage of the 2018 General Assembly and sign up for Ask Renee green living advice emails.
TELL US ABOUT THE INFLUENCE SUSTAINABILITY HAS ON YOUR SPENDING DECISIONS BELOW!
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Ta ke Part in Upcoming Events!
Want to magnify your impact for Indiana's environment, but not sure how to do it? Please join us at one of these upcoming events to get informed and empowered!

 
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!
 
 
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 .
 
If you have any questions about any of the above events or about our website, please contact our  Outreach Coordinator , Amanda Shepherd.
Hoosier Environmental Council | 317-685-8800 | comments@hecweb.org | www.hecweb.org