News Releases

Raatz Roundup: Expanding property rights for rural landowners

Submitted for use on Feb. 6, 2023
Word Count: 259

Expanding property rights for rural landowners

By State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond)

Hoosiers struggle to develop or sell their homes when the state designates the area to be in a floodplain. This is even more frustrating when federal mapping data is less restrictive and differs from the state's mapping.

Following multiple Drainage Task Force meetings last year, members found a state law provision that requires local floodplain administrators to use heavily restrictive state floodplain mapping data to determine property value and residents' ability to build on their own land.

Senate Bill 242, which I authored, would repeal the provision and give local floodplain administrators the option to use state or federal floodplain mapping data.

Giving local floodplain administrators this flexibility is a matter of property rights, and SB 242 simply helps local governments make more well-informed decisions on whether someone can manage their land without harming the environment.

This issue has produced mounting frustration for many constituents in rural communities, which is why I look forward to seeing this bill pass through the legislative process. We will also continue researching the topic further in future Drainage Task Force meetings.

The Drainage Task Force was created by Senate Enrolled Act 85, which I authored during the 2022 legislative session, to review drainage laws and make determinations and recommendations concerning drainage regulatory matters.

SB 242 passed the Senate Monday, Jan. 30, and will now move to the Indiana House of Representatives for further consideration. To learn more about the bill, click here.

If you have any questions or concerns on these or other topics, feel free to contact me at or 317-233-0930.


State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) represents Senate District 27, which includes
Henry, Union and Wayne counties, and portions of Franklin County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.