SB373 on its way to passage by the Indiana House after quick approval by the Senate was sidetracked last week. Indiana Farm Bureau reports that, on Monday, the House of Representatives accepted the report of the Agriculture Committee on SB 373 (Sen. Eric Holdman, R-Markle, and, Rep. Bill Friend, R-Macy) and in a surprise move recommitted it to the House Judiciary Committee. SB 373 is the bill that will make it illegal to photograph, videotape, or otherwise record agricultural or industrial operations with the intent to defame or harm the owner of the property without the consent of the owner.
The bill continues to raise some constitutional questions, so it was forwarded to the Judiciary Committee. Committee Chairman Greg Steuerwald (R-Danville) has been working with Farm Bureau and other interested groups to address these issues. He has scheduled a hearing of the Judiciary Committee for Monday morning. In addition to Chairman Steuerwald, the members of the committee are Republicans Tom Washburne (Evansville), Eric Koch (Bedford), Dan Leonard (Huntington), Peggy Mayfield (Martinsburg), Jud McMillan (Brookville), Wendy McNamara (Mount Vernon), Phyllis Pond (New Haven), Jerry Torr (Carmel) and Democrats Pat Bauer (South Bend), Ed Delaney (Indianapolis), Ryan Dvorak (South Bend) and Vernon Smith (Gary). Media and activist groups continue to put pressure on lawmakers to defeat the bill designed to protect farming operations from exploitation.
Indiana Farm Bureau is asking its members to call members of the Judiciary Committee and ask them to support of SB 373 in committee.