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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ind. Law - "Changed wording delays debate on right to hunt, fish"

Maureen Hayden, CNHI Statehouse Bureau, writes in the Rushville Republican:

INDIANAPOLIS – A much-debated ban on same-sex marriage wasn’t the only proposed constitutional amendment to get knocked off this November’s ballot. Gone, too, is the less contentious proposal to protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt and fish.

Backers of the measure say enshrining the right to “hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife” in Indiana’s Constitution will protect the state’s heritage from animal rights and anti-hunting activists. Without it, they fear, future generations of sportsmen will see limits on hunting seasons, more restrictions on hunting weapons, and increased protections for prey. * * *

But similar to the fate of the same-sex marriage amendment, a change to the hunting and fishing resolution’s language – removing a phrase covering the right to farm – postpones any public vote until at least 2016. [That version sought to protect the right “to engage in the agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products.”] * * *

Earlier this year, lobbyists representing farmers pulled their support after opponents, lead by the Hoosier Environmental Council, argued the amendment would prevent future laws protecting private landowners and regulations limiting factory farms and puppy mills.

Steele reluctantly pulled the farming language, blaming agricultural interests as gutless. “I told them to grow some horns because they’re going to get run around the pasture, and there’s no language that’s going to mollify the opposition,” he said at the time.

A newly worded resolution – minus the farming language – starts the process anew. The exact language contained in Senate Joint Resolution 9 will have to be passed by the next elected General Assembly before it can go before voters.

See also this ILB post from Sept. 26, 2013.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 11, 2014 09:28 AM
Posted to Indiana Law