The Indiana Senate unanimously passed bills authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) this week.

Senate Bill 227 would address the enforcement of pesticide violations. Senate Bill 53 would address the testing and reporting of diseased animals.

Pesticide violations

Under current law, the state chemist may impose a civil penalty to individuals who misuse pesticides based off a schedule of civil penalties that the Indiana Pesticide Review Board created.

Senate Bill 227 would replace the schedule of civil penalties with a comprehensive list of violations for which the state chemist may impose a civil penalty of $250, $500 or $1,000, depending on severity of the violation. SB 227 would also grant the state chemist the ability to adjust a civil penalty by 20 percent for certain violations if the person responsible for the violation takes mitigating action. Low-level violations may only incur a fee if a warning has been issued to the violator within five years of the latest incident.

“The misuse of pesticides can be detrimental to Indiana farmers, who contribute billions of dollars to our state economy each year,” Leising said. “We must do what we can do protect our environment. SB 227 would grant the state chemist the authority necessary to maintain fair regulatory measures.”

SB 227 will now be considered by the Indiana House of Representatives. To learn more about SB 227, visit iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/senate/227.

Diseased animals

Under current law, if a veterinarian, owner, caretaker or custodian of an animal knows or suspects that an animal has a disease or condition that requires reporting to the state, the individual must report it to the state veterinarian or a local health officer within 48 hours.

Senate Bill 53 would instead require those individuals to report their findings within 24 hours. SB 53 would also require a laboratory or animal health professional to report the type of any tests performed as well as the positive diagnoses for certain diseases within 24 hours after a test renders a positive diagnosis.

“SB 53 would ensure that when a disease outbreak occurs, it will be handled properly so that it won’t cause irreparable loss to the farm of origin or others,” Leising said. “I believe this is a good bill, one that protects everyone’s interests from the ground up.”

SB 53 will now be considered by the Indiana House of Representatives. To learn more about SB 53, visit iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/senate/53.