SB 438 – Regulation of Pesticide Use and Application
Authored by Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg)

Creates the civil penalty advisory panel to study and recommend a system for use in determining the civil penalties that may be imposed for a violation of the laws governing pesticide use and application. It requires the panel to make recommendations concerning the study to the Pesticide Review Board and General Assembly before December 1, 2020.

Chamber Position:
Oppose

The latest: The bill was heard in the House Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on Tuesday. The committee chair, Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston), offered an amendment that changed the language to what was originally in HB 1119.  The amended bill establishes a new schedule of civil penalties in statute, which are significantly higher and requires the state chemist to impose the penalties.  The amended bill, which cleared the committee 11-0, is scheduled for second reading in the full House on February 24.

Indiana Chamber action/commentary: We testified in support of the bill prior to the amendment because it would require input from groups, including business, before changes could be made to civil penalty amounts and their application to violations. The other testimony ranged from flat-out opposition to any changes to the existing law to support, from the agriculture community, of the amended bill.

The subsequent approved amendment to SB 438 now makes the measure unacceptable, so we are in full opposition. The Chamber’s concerns are for unintended impacts on lawn care companies as well as other businesses that use/apply pesticides. Both Rep. Lehe and Sen. Leising indicated that the bill needs work, and they want to cooperate with the different trade groups and interested parties to make it better. This bill is destined for conference committee if it passes out of the House.

Resource: Greg Ellis at (317) 264-6881 or email: [email protected]