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Rural Hoosiers Being Regulated by the Cities and Towns Where They Can’t Vote

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Rural Hoosiers Being Regulated by the Cities and Towns Where They Can’t Vote

Extraterritorial jurisdiction. It’s not just a mouthful to say, but it’s a big issue facing rural Hoosiers. This issue is one of many legislative priorities for Indiana Farm Bureau this session. INFB President Randy Kron explains that some cities and towns are using a loophole in state code that allows them to make decisions outside of their jurisdiction.

“When cities and towns decide they can go 3 and 4 miles outside of their borders and control what happens, maybe on land development or if you’re wanting to expand… say you have a son or daughter coming back and you want to put a livestock facility, a quad barn, or something, and all of a sudden the city, which you’re not even a part of and you vote for nobody in that city, can say ‘Nope. You can’t do that.’”

Director of State Government Relations for INFB Justin Schneider says this seems like a simple concept that the people who regulate you should be the ones that you vote for and you shouldn’t have two layers of county government regulating the same conduct.

“What we have seen over the years, it’s not a new issue, it’s something we’ve been watching, you have a county ordinance in place, you have a state regulation in place, and then the city or town tries to prohibit or restrict activity outside of their jurisdiction. We can’t have multiple layers of regulation. We can’t have a city or town impacting rural residents, folks who live outside of the city. We can’t have them trumping county ordinances that are passed by the folks who are elected by all of the individuals in the county.”

INFB held their legislative kickoff session in downtown Indianapolis on Wednesday. Kron sat down with Governor Eric Holcomb who recommitted to improving broadband in rural, underserved communities, focusing on workforce development, and continuing to do their due diligence on a new port to be located in Dearborn County on the Ohio River. Holcomb’s budget is to be released today.