We’ve recently told you about a couple bills under consideration at the Indiana Statehouse that we believe have an effect of our mission to help residents of Indianapolis “Grow well. Eat well. Live well. Be well.” However, there is a different sort of legislation under consideration that isn’t getting much attention in the media.
Senate Joint Resolution 7 (SJR 7), the so-called “Right to Hunt and Fish” resolution, would protect Hoosiers’ constitutional right to hunt, fish, or harvest game. We’ll admit this is a “valued part of our heritage” for many Hoosiers, yet the bill’s scope is cause for concern.
The bill, if enacted, would make it a constitutional right to engage in the agricultural or commercial product of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products as well as hunting and fishing. No other professions in Indiana are guaranteed such rights.
Similar to SB 373, (a.k.a. - the Ag Gag bill), SJR 7 would limit our right to know where our food comes from and how it is grown. SJR 7 would effectively limit the ability of regulators to enact safeguards designed to protect public health, safety and the environment. Some opponents of this resolution have nicknamed SJR 7 as the “Right to Harm”.
Our stance is to support agricultural practices that are good, clean and fair. Likewise, we see the practice of growing produce as a basic agricultural act and absent of the Indiana constitution.
We encourage you to contact your House Representative and tell them you are opposed to SJR 7 and that you support continuing open conversations and interactions around good agriculture practices. (Go here to look up your rep). As part of Growing Places Indy, we support Ag Brag. We love what we do. We love the land. We love growing food. We have nothing to hide.
Notable: A joint resolution must pass the House and Senate of two separate sessions of the Indiana General Assembly. SJR 7 has already passed through once. During this current session, SJR 7 passed through the Indiana Senate on February 26, and it has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. There is no current hearing scheduled, but we will let you know via Facebook, Twitter and this newsletter (if time permits). It is possible that SJR 7 will “die” in committee and or it may be left to the final weeks of the session.
If SJR 7 does pass the Indiana House, it will become a constitutional law and any changes or modifications would have to endure the same process that SJR 7 has traveled. In other words, it would be very difficult to amend in the future.