The Indiana Senate bill to reduce extraterritorial jurisdiction of cities and towns, SB535 authored by Senator Phil Boots of Crawfordsville was heard in committee last week, according to Katrina Hall with Indiana Farm Bureau, which is a strong supporter of the bill. The bill would address to what extent municipalities can control areas not in their boundaries.
“Some really old laws allow them to do that four miles out, or even ten miles out, so we’re working to curb that and pull that back so that it’s a very clear distinction that folks outside of a municipality are really only under the regulatory scheme of a county,” Hall told HAT. “That’s really important and we’ve got a lot of momentum on that issue. We’re waiting to vote it out of the senate local government committee. We’re pretty confident that it’s got a good story.”
The bill that quite possibly has seen the most negotiation this session is HB1270 which seeks to restore the Kankakee and Yellow Rivers through an improved oversight mechanism. The bill is authored by Rep. Doug Gutwein of Francesville.
“A year ago when we had a lot of rain, many areas of those counties were under water for extended periods of time, so we want to try to get that alleviated so that farmers don’t have to deal with that,” she said. “And it isn’t just farmers, it’s other citizens as well. This is a comprehensive piece of legislation that includes a lot of collaboration for over eight counties. That’s been a challenge, but we’ve put a lot of effort into that over that last twelve months.”
Hall said they’re currently contemplating some amendments to that bill.