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House Committee Passes Bill Leaving Fate of Hoosier Health, Environment in Federal Government’s Hands

House Committee Passes Bill Leaving Fate of Hoosier Health, Environment in Federal Government’s Hands

The Indiana House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that would allow all state agencies to be regulated by the federal government.

House Bill 1100Rep. Steve Bartels authored the bill. It would prohibit state agencies to set regulations that are more stringent or similar to federal statutes.

This could make Indiana dependent on the federal government to address state-specific issues like the environment or health of the Hoosiers.

Bartels, the assistant majority whip of the House Republican caucus called the bill a proactive approach towards government oversight and reform.

They do not represent their respective districts. They do not represent the state. They are an agency that works for someone. Bartels explained that while we can make more stringent laws and regulations, agencies shouldn’t have that power.

For the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, there is already a strict regulation.

The 2016 House Enrolled Act 1082IDEM must inform the Legislature if it intends enacting rules that are more stringent then those enacted federally. The delay in implementing the rule is until after the next legislative session. This gives lawmakers time to repeal the rule.

The 2016 bill allowed IDEM to adopt emergency rules, take immediate action, modify existing policies and procedures temporarily or create new ones.

HB 1100 would prohibit IDEM and any other state agency from developing rules that are more stringent than federal regulations in any circumstance. The bill does not define what is considered more stringent nor who would make it, which could lead to litigation.

State agencies would also have to apply for approval from the state attorney General for emergency rules. This would allow them to refuse to approve the emergency rule.

Tim Maloney is the senior policy director at the Hoosier Environmental Council. He stated that HB 1100 would adversely impact the ability of Hoosiers make decisions that will affect their air and water quality.

[House Bill 1100]Those standards would severely limit the ability of our state agency to adopt timely and appropriate state standards for protecting public health and the environment, Maloney stated during a hearing at the House Committee on Ways and Means. Federal environmental laws, such as the Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act, are delegated to states for implementation. This gives states a lot of flexibility to implement these laws, so that they can create rules that are specific to Indiana’s circumstances and conditions.

Maloney stated that Indiana already has more than a dozen checks-and-balances that limit the approval and adoption of rules and regulation if they’re not approved by property authority.

In the Indiana Code, administrative rules state that rules must meet their regulatory goal by the Most restrictive“And must be justified Any cost or requirementNot allowed by federal or state laws or rules. Agents must also provide a Statement on fiscal impactRules with an estimated impact of $500,000 or more

Also, proposals for rules must be submitted to the attorney generalThe Governorfor approval and review. The governor then has the option to terminate the rule.

Before IDEM rules can be sent for review, they must be approved by the 16-member Environmental Rules Board. The board comprises half of its members from regulated industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, public utilities, and other related sectors.

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If these things are occurring more often, then we should change. Bartels stated that we can make changes faster than the agency if we have to follow more stringent rules.

The Indiana legislature would need to consider “more stringent” legislation to deal with the lobbyists and business interests.

Bartels and other legislators resisted legislation that did not directly support business interests, partisan cultural issues, leaving Indiana to rely on state agencies for health and environment policy.

The Indiana General Assembly voted down bills that standardize renewable energy siting, establish radon testing at schools, and establish a blood test program for veterans or military personnel who may be exposed to PFAS chemicals during the 2021 session.

Lawmakers passed a bill that was backed by land developers, which eliminated state protections for wetlands. They also passed a bill that was backed by the oil and natural gas industry. This bill prevents local governments in their area from banning the use fossil fuels.

They also passed legislation that allowed lawmakers to intervene when the governor declares public health emergencies. This is partly to eliminate restrictions that could be considered restrictive for businesses like health orders and mask mandates. The bill could hinder state agencies’ efforts to respond to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Eric Holcomb filed suit claiming that the bill was unconstitutional. Holcomb was rebuked by a Marion County judge in October. The lawsuit is currently being reviewed by the Indiana Supreme Court.

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