January 27, 2018
HEC enews winter trees
What the HEC is Happening in the Statehouse?
1.) Contact Your State Senator to Stand Up for Redistricting Reform, Solar Energy, and Our State Forests
Please email or call your State Senator to convey three messages:

a.) On redistricting, "Yes" on SB 326 -- though ask for an "independent redistricting commission" as well
b.) On solar energy, "Yes" on SB 207
c.) On forests: Express your alarm on SB 275's denial of a hearing in the Senate Natural Resources Committee

BACKGROUND ON THESE BILLS

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 207
Would reduce Homeowner Association regulations on homeowners seeking to install solar. It has a Committee hearing on Monday, January 29th, but is expected to get a floor vote the week of the 29th.

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 .

And please don't miss the chance to contact your State Senator !
I-69 Construction
2.) Contact Your State Representative to Protect our Rivers & Streams from Construction Runoff

When construction disturbs soil, rain and snow melt can wash that soil into storm drains, city streets, and into rivers and streams where it smothers habitat and inhibits aquatic life. 

Construction sites are the most common source of sediment pollution. That’s why construction sites have to have run-off control plans under the federal Clean Water Act. Under current state rules, those plans are reviewed by local city or county storm water professionals who judge whether they are adequate.

HB 1096 attempts to strip away local storm water authority. It would prevent local authorities from having any requirements more stringent than the state rule. This will create confusion because the state rule delegates to the local authority. Every construction site is different in size, lay-out, contour, soil type, construction activity, and relationship to local waterways. The local storm water authorities are in the best position to judge what is needed at their construction sites.

TAKE ACTION:
HB 1096 will be up for a vote in the House in the next few days -- Wednesday at the latest.  Call your representative and ask them to vote against HB 1096.
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 one of these upcoming HEC events 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!

Howard County - January 26th
Greater Lafayette - January 27th
Columbus - January 29th
Hendricks County - January 29th
Madison County - January 29th

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 , Amanda Shepherd so that Amanda can add this 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