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Lafayette’s Confronting the Climate Crisis was disappointed that the bill died

Lafayette’s Confronting the Climate Crisis was disappointed that the bill died

Lafayette's Confront the Climate Crisis disappointed that bill dies

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Wednesday marked the deadline for Indiana Sen. Mark Messmer, the chairman of the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee, to decide if he’d hear pro-climate legislation.

Students from Climate Crisis: Get to the Source, which was started in West Lafayette, now includes high school students hailing from other Indiana towns, was watched in anticipation. Messmer, R-Jasper, declined. 

Members of the group trekked to Washington earlier this month to persuade legislators to address climate changes in legislation. 

“We’re the ones who will grow up and inherit the state and deal with the future they are leaving for us,” Rahul Durai, a sophomore at West Lafayette Jr./Sr. High School. IndyStar

Messmer, who chairs Senate Environmental Affairs Committee told IndyStar before deadline that he would no longer hear Senate legislation. 

Indiana Sen. Ron Alting (R, Lafayette) encourages student Claire Curran to keep fighting for her beliefs after she and other student members of the "Confront the Climate Crisis" group spoke on legislative advocacy day, Jan. 18, 2022, at the Indiana Statehouse.

Confront the Climate Crisis students expressed their disappointment in the wake of his decision.

“Despite so many Hoosiers across Indiana coming together around this important issue, our legislation was denied a hearing by the Chairman of the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee, Senator Mark Messmer,” according to their statement. “Representing the youth voice of Indiana, we realize that the climate crisis puts Indiana’s future well-being in jeopardy, and we rely on those in power to hear our concerns and enact change.

“We must hold state officials accountable.” Senator Messmer’s inaction against this statewide threat sends a message to all Hoosiers, particularly the youth: your voices are not being heard by our state government.”

Students in bipartisan group "Confront the Climate Crisis," Rahul Durai, left, and Siya Goel, right, speak to fellow students and legislators on legislative advocacy day, Jan. 18, 2022, at the Indiana Statehouse.

Confront the Climate Crisis teamed up with Sen. Ron Alting (R.Lafayette), to help author the report over the past year. Senate Bill No. 255, and Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis), to House Bill 1287Both of these organizations aimed to create a bipartisan taskforce made up experts to guide Indiana policymakers in addressing climate change.

Rahul Durai, a sophomore at West Lafayette Jr./Sr. high school, speaks during the Confront the Climate Crisis rally on the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 in Lafayette.

Alting also authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, which asks the Indiana General Assembly to acknowledge climate change as a serious problem for Indiana and to “recognizes climate change and sustainable economic development has the potential to create high-skilled jobs, combat “brain drain,” decrease consumer energy costs, and enhance workforce development for Indiana while simultaneously mitigating climate change.”

In An articleAccording to IndyStar Messmer, he believed the task force bill was unnecessary as the issue could have been addressed through, for instance the 21st Century Energy Policy Task Force. The committee will entertain the topic, but it is not a given. 

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