There is still a chance that a controversial bill that would prohibit local governments from regulating the sale or removal of timber and other resources from private property could become state law.
Even though House Bill 1289 did not pass out of Senate committees, it could be filed as an amendment into a Senate bill. If that bill is passed, the essence of HB 1289 — authored by state Rep. Jeff Ellington, R-Bloomington — would take effect in Indiana.
The legislative session ends next Wednesday, and the bill could be added up until the final day.
House Bill 1289 would restrict the power of a county, city, town or township to regulate the development of natural resources on private property. It would allow landowners to harvest natural resources, including coal, timber and limestone, from their property without governmental restrictions. For people in Monroe County, landowners could harvest timber near Lake Monroe without the current restrictions that have been placed to limit the release of sediment into the lake, which serves as the source of drinking water for Bloomington and surrounding areas.
In a previous Herald-Times story, Ellington said current law allows local governments to apply burdensome fees and regulations on landowners that discourage harvesting of natural resources.