State Senator Jon Ford explains his support of a bill to repeal state regulated wetlands law

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Local legislators shared their thoughts on recent bills at the statehouse during a virtual Crackerbarrel session Saturday.

Among the bills is one that would add mutations of SARS, like COVID-19 to the list of diseases for death benefits for emergency and public safety employees.

Heavily discussed across the Hoosier state, has been a bill that would repeal state regulated wetlands laws.

Senator Jon Ford explains why he voted in favor of this bill saying that the bill focuses on isolated wetlands, meaning on private property.

In Saturday’s session, Ford referred to a story in which the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, intervened with a large rain puddle on a farmer’s land and deemed it a wetland.

Ford says the aftermath for the farmer was to pay over $100,000 in fines.

“this isolated wetlands program we’re talking about is basically forcing private property owners to get government permits to do things on their own land. Also, I think that federal law will still be in place and wetlands will still be protected by the federal government … And the dnr wetlands that are in our area will still be open for people to enjoy,” Ford said.

The bill that repeals state regulated wetlands law is SB389. Ford says by the end of the session his goal is to have a much better piece of legislation.

The next Terre Haute Crackerbarrel session is scheduled for March 13th.

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