INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – An Indiana House committee has approved a bill supporters say is needed to protect the rights of Hoosier farmers, but opponents say would give special protections to big agribusinesses.
The House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee passed the bill Thursday on a 12-1 vote, sending it to the full House for consideration.
The measure passed the Senate last month and includes language stating Indiana law “shall be construed to protect the rights of farmers.”
The Hoosier Environmental Council says that language has legal ramifications and would shield agribusinesses such as livestock farms that produce large amounts of manure from legal liability, “regardless of the harm those practices cause.”
Republican state Sen. Carlin Yoder of Middlebury says his bill simply lets judges know “the General Assembly stands with our farming communities.”