Morrison's legislation protecting farmlands advances

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Monday, February 29, 2016

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 29, 2016) – The House of Representatives voted today in support of a bill sponsored by State Rep. Alan Morrison, (R-Seelyville) which helps the soil and water conservation districts work more efficiently.

Currently, there are 92 soil and water conservation districts in Indiana, one in every county. Conservation districts help Hoosiers to conserve the land, water, forests and wildlife that encompass Indiana’s 23 million acres. Through the Clean Water Indiana Program, conservation districts can receive up to $10,000 in matching state funds to support their operations.

Under Senate Bill (SB) 238, if two or more conservation districts chose to consolidate, their funds would be combined. For example, if two districts decide to merge, they would receive up to $20,000 in matching state funds, instead of $10,000 each. Additionally, if a soil and water conservation district does not receive funding from a political subdivision, they may receive funding from another source, which qualifies for the matching funds from the state.

“The Division of Soil Conservation provides technical, educational and financial assistance to Indiana residents in order to solve erosion and sediment-related problems,” Morrison said. “Indiana’s economy greatly depends on the agricultural industry, and we need to make soil conservation a top priority in order to better protect our resources.”

Morrison said the market value of crops sold in Indiana is over $7.5 billion, with more than 83 percent of the land devoted to farms and forests.

Visit www.iga.in.gov for more information on SB 238.

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Rep. Morrison represents all of Vermillion County and portions of Clay, Fountain, Parke, Vigo and Warren counties.