STATEHOUSE (Jan. 21, 2014) — State Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) will offer an amendment to his agriculture trespassing legislation during today’s Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law hearing. The amendment has encouraged some industry groups to withdraw their opposition to the bill.
Currently, Senate Bill 101 makes it a crime for an unauthorized person to knowingly or intentionally enter a farmer’s property and engage in activities that result in a monetary loss to the farm’s business, such as videotaping farm operations and posting the video online. Holdman’s amendment will remove that language and make it a crime only if a trespasser causes property damage to the farm.
Holdman said he authored the amendment after several conversations with a wide array of concerned parties.
“This amendment was the result of careful consideration and contribution from a variety of actors,” Holdman said. “I’m grateful for that input, which helped me tailor the legislation to best address their concerns. I believe the changes I am offering will focus the bill on its intent – to protect the operations of our state’s agricultural sector.”
Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association (HSPA), said Holdman’s amendment eased many of the concerns he had with SB 101.
“The Hoosier State Press Association appreciates Senator Holdman’s efforts to eliminate First Amendment concerns we had with Senate Bill 101,” Key said. “We believe the amendments now focus the bill on strengthening trespass laws.”
The Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law will hear Holdman’s amendment today at 10 a.m. Committee members are expected to vote on the legislation.