URGENT: Indiana Ag-Gag Bill Resurfaced, Democrats Ousted from Committee

by Will Potter on April 25, 2013

in Terrorism Legislation

indiana-ag-gagIf you know anyone in Indiana, please share this immediately. Indiana’s ag-gag bill, which makes it illegal to expose factory farms, clearcutting, and fracking, has resurfaced and it is being rushed through the legislature.

The bill had been watered down in response to massive public backlash against it. But now, Senate Bill 373 has all the anti-consumer language all over again. The provisions were inserted by the original Senate author Travis Holdman(R). As the Indianapolis Star reports:

Sen. Karen Tallian, the Portage Democrat who was removed from SB 373, accused Republicans of “dirty rotten kind of blackmail technique” to try to get her to approve the bill.

She said she had talked the penalty down to an infraction — akin to a speeding ticket — rather than a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail.

“They came to me and said, ‘Make the choice. Either you sign it and it will stay an infraction with the Senate version or don’t sign it, and all this other stuff is going in,” Tallian said. “We agreed uanimously (in the Democratic caucus) that we weren’t buying this. It’s a bad bill and we’re not signing.”

Because the Democratic conferees refused to sign the revised version, Republican legislative leaders removed them from the committee.

The bill criminalizes anyone who video records or photographs animal welfare, environmental, workers’ rights, and health violations not just in factory farms, but in any industrial or mining operation as well. Anyone who records such abuses has 5 days to turn the footage over to police — but they are expressly prohibited from giving it to the media.

I just found out the committee is voting tomorrow. If you care about the environment, animal welfare, workers’ rights, or food safety, act now:

Contact Speaker of the House Brian Bosma as well as President Pro-tem of the Senate, David Long, and urge them not to support the Ag Gag Bill conference report and stop this legislation. Tell them instead of trying to shield bad actors and discourage whistleblowers, they should be working to protect the public.

To find your legislators, please go here:

To e-mail your legislators, visit:

The Senate switchboard is: (800) 382-9467 The House switchboard is: (800)382-9842

You can also sign the national petition against these bills: Change.org/AgGag

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