The Indiana House and Senate have passed differing versions of a Hoosier State “ag-gag” bill, sending the measure to a conference committee to see if the differences can be worked out.
The Senate could have simply adopted the amended House version of Senate Bill (SB) 373, but instead the upper chamber “dissented from the House amendments” and appointed state Senators Travis Holdman (R-Bluffton) and Karen Tallian (D-Portage) as conferees.
Indiana’s General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on April 29, leaving the next 12 days for the House-Senate conferees to come to agreement and get SB 373 a second floor vote in both chambers. Then and only then will the bill go to Republican Governor Mike Pence’s desk for his likely signature.
In its first floor vote in the Senate on Feb. 26, SB 373 passed 30-to-20. The amended version in the House passed 65-to-25. Standing between the two chambers are three House amendments that change the wording of some key parts of the bill.
For example, to run afoul of the new law, one would have to “knowingly or intentionally “ enter farm property. Another addresses the significance of an employer’s decision to employ someone who omits an answer on an employment application.
If the conferees do come to agreement, Indiana could become the seventh state to enact an “ag-gag” law.© Food Safety News