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Bill Watch, Jan. 10, 2020: Current Environmental Legislation of Note - Environmental Law News

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Environmental Law News


Posted on: Jan 14, 2020

The IndyBar Legislative Committee is currently monitoring the following environmental law related legislation. IndyBar members can request that the Legislative Committee track specific legislation by contacting committee chair Mindy Westrick at mwestrick@indianaenergy.org.

Click here to view the full Bill Watch reports.

HB1055    CIVIL GOVERNMENT PROPERTY TAX CONTROLS. (THOMPSON J) Provides that for years after 2020 an assessed value growth quotient is determined individually for each taxing unit. Provides that the assessed value growth quotient for a taxing unit is determined by a formula that is based on: (1) the average growth in the taxing unit's net assessed value; and (2) the average circuit breaker losses experienced by a taxing unit. Eliminates Indiana nonfarm personal income as a factor in computing an assessed value growth quotient.

HB1113    DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE. (LEONARD D) Changes the deadline for reporting bonds issued or leases executed after September 30. Changes the defined term "assessed value growth quotient" to the term "maximum levy growth quotient" without changing the definition. Allows the department of local government finance (DLGF) to amend certain rules to conform with statutory changes. Changes the deadline before which a township or county assessor must provide notice of the amount of assessment or reassessment. Requires counties to provide data related to property taxation to the DLGF. (Current law requires counties to provide the data to the DLGF and the legislative services agency.) Defines the term "yard improvements" in connection with the assessment of a golf course. Eliminates unnecessary information from the sales disclosure form. Changes the term "industrial facility" in the statutes concerned with the assessment of industrial facilities. Prohibits township assessors and vendors who contract with county assessors or townships from assessing industrial facilities in Lake County. Establishes floating deadlines for assessing officials or the county property tax board of appeals to act when making changes in the assessed value of personal property or issuing a determination in an appeal of a change in assessed value of personal property. Changes the debt service obligation reporting date. Provides that a political subdivision shall submit the date, time, and place of the final adoption of the budget, tax rate, and levy through the department's computer gateway. Requires a political subdivision to indicate on its budget ordinance whether the political subdivision intends to issue debt after December 1 or file a shortfall appeal. Requires a political subdivision that makes an additional unbudgeted appropriation to submit the additional appropriation to the department within 15 days after the additional appropriation is adopted. Provides that a county treasurer shall transmit the statement describing a taxpayer's property tax liability and the notice of assessment together to the taxpayer before April 15 each year. Eliminates the use of the state address confidentiality form to submit a request to restrict access to a covered person's address maintained in a public property data base. Provides that if a taxpayer is owed a refund that exceeds $100,000 for excessive property taxes paid on real property, a county auditor may pay the property tax refund in equal installments of property tax credits for up to five years. Requires the DLGF to provide certain assessment and tax data to the legislative services agency within one business day of receipt. Eliminates the requirement that a candidate for an assessor-appraiser examination be an Indiana resident. Eliminates the restriction that a representative of a taxpayer in a proceeding before the Indiana board of tax review must be an attorney if a matter under consideration in the proceeding is a claim that taxes are illegal as a matter of law. Provides that if an adopting body under the local income tax law wishes to submit a proposed notice, ordinance, or resolution to the department for preliminary review, the adopting body shall submit the notice, ordinance, or resolution on the prescribed forms. Eliminates the requirement in the context of teacher collective bargaining for the department to certify the amount of an operating referendum tax levy or a school safety referendum tax levy. Transfers responsibility for reporting by political subdivisions of other post-employment benefits from the department to the state board of accounts. Aligns the deadline for public libraries to adopt a budget with the general deadline to adopt a budget. Rephrases and reorganizes various provisions. Makes technical changes.

HB1257    NOTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION. (BOY P) Requires a person who causes a spill of certain substances into waters of the state to report the spill immediately to the following: (1) The department of environmental management (department). (2) The county health officer of each county in which the spill occurred. (3) A downstream water user. (4) At least one emergency response agency. (5) Each park located in the county in which the spill occurred. Requires the department, the county health officer, the downstream water user, the emergency response agency, and each park (entity) to: (1) post the information received about the spill on each entity's Internet web site; and (2) in a manner determined by each entity, make the information received about the spill available to the public. Requires the person who caused the spill to immediately provide notice by publication to the public in each county in which the spill occurred. Establishes a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day that the person fails to make the report or provide the notice required by the bill. Provides that the civil penalty is not more that $50,000 for each day that the person fails to make the report or provide the notice if a court has entered a judgment against a person for a previous violation of the reporting and notification requirements added by the bill. Provides that a person who fails to make the report or provide the notice required by the bill commits a Class A misdemeanor. Specifies that a person commits a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior unrelated conviction for a violation of the reporting and notification requirements added by the bill. Provides that money collected by the department for a civil violation of the reporting and notification requirements added by the bill shall be deposited into the environmental management special fund. Adds definitions of "downstream water user", "objectionable substance", "park", and "spill". Makes conforming changes.

SB43    FRAUD CONSOLIDATION. (YOUNG M) Repeals and consolidates various fraud, deception, and mischief offenses. Defines "financial institution" for purposes of crimes involving financial institutions. Defines "item of sentimental value" and enhances the penalties for mischief, theft, and fraud if the offense involves an item of sentimental value. Makes conforming amendments. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the interim study committee on corrections and criminal code.)

SB73    REPORTS OF POTENTIAL VIOLATIONS TO IDEM. (TOMES J) Authorizes the department of environmental management (department) to facilitate the submission of reports of potential environmental violations by means of a printed form, a dedicated telephone number, and an online form available through the department's Internet web site. Provides: (1) that the printed report form must include a space in which the individual submitting the report is directed to write the individual's name and address; (2) that when a call is made to the dedicated telephone number, the caller must be asked to give the caller's name and address; and (3) that the online form must include fields in which the individual submitting the report is to enter the individual's name and address, and that the department's Internet web site must be programmed so as not to allow the submission of a report unless those fields are filled in. Provides that, upon the request of a person to whom a report of a potential violation refers, the department shall disclose the identity of the individual who made the report unless the individual's identity is excepted from disclosure under the public records law.

SB130    RESIDENTIAL SEWAGE DISCHARGING DISPOSAL SYSTEMS. (KRUSE D) Makes changes to the process to issue permits for onsite residential sewage discharging disposal systems that are installed to repair failed septic systems in certain counties.

SB165    VEHICLE BILL. (BRAY R)

SB166    VEHICLE BILL. (BRAY R)

SB229    MAINTENANCE OF REGULATED DRAINS. (SPARTZ V) Provides that a permit is not required from the Indiana department of environmental management for the reconstruction or maintenance of regulated drains for purposes of the law concerning state regulated wetlands.

SB248    ANNUAL INSPECTIONS OF CAFOS. (NIEMEYER R) Requires the department of environmental management, at least once per year, to conduct an onsite inspection of every concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), which, under federal regulations, is: (1) a large CAFO, at which more than 1,000 head of beef cattle, 700 dairy cows, 2,500 swine weighing more than 55 pounds, or 125,000 broiler chickens are confined onsite for more than 45 days during a year; (2) a medium CAFO, at which 300 to 999 head of beef cattle, 200 to 699 dairy cows, 750 to 2,499 swine weighing more than 55 pounds, or 37,500 to 124,999 broiler chickens are confined onsite for more than 45 days during a year, and from which pollutants are discharged directly or through a manmade device into waters of the United States; or (3) a small CAFO, at which fewer animals are confined than at a medium CAFO but which has been determined to be a significant contributor of pollutants to waters of the United States.

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