Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Environment - "Right to farm" bill on its way to the Governor
Niki Kelly's story today in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports:
A bill recognizing agriculture and farmers’ rights passed the House 67-30 Monday.Re the last paragraph, that objective, "to encourage the production of food," could have been accomplished with the passage a simple or concurrent resolution. Rather, look at one of the quotes in the Jan. 15th ILB post:
Senate Bill 186 now heads to the governor for final approval.
The legislation says it is state policy to conserve, protect and encourage agriculture. But a second sentence construing the Indiana code to protect the rights of farmers has caused some concern.
Rep. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, said many family farms, doctors and environmentalists oppose the bill.
“I think this bill is going much too far,” he said, saying it encourages judges to have a bias for farmers in lawsuits. “You already have a right to farm.”
But he and others don’t think that should mean a right to pollute the air and land.
Rep. Don Lehe, R-Brookston, said the bill simply encourages the production of food in a world where the population is growing and cost is a key concern for consumers.
Dan Cole, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, said the bill’s language is ambiguous and could potentially result in a “tremendous expansion of the property rights of farmers, at the expense of property rights of non-farming neighbors and communities.”
Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 25, 2014 08:39 AM
Posted to Environment