The importance of interim dialogue
The Indiana General Assembly is a part time legislature, giving representatives and senators alike the unique opportunity to spend most of the year in our districts working, volunteering and meeting with constituents. It is in these meetings and conversations with constituents that legislators get inspired to author legislation. By having an open dialogue with you regarding your challenges or ideas to make something simpler, I can have a better understanding of what Indiana is doing right or how we get on a better path to improve policies.
As a matter of fact, last interim I spoke with a father whose daughter has a disability. She is still young but her father was not sure if she would be able to pass the required courses course after her apprenticeships have been used up. That conversation got my gears going about what I could do to help his daughter. As a product of that conversation, I authored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1050.
Since 1986, if you wanted a hunting license you were required to complete a hunter education course. However, an individual may purchase up to three apprenticeship hunting licenses in which they can hunt with a licensed hunter over the age of 18. Those with developmental disabilities can use these apprenticeship licenses to hunt with someone, but once the three licenses have been used there are no options left for those individuals to continue hunting with family or friends.
HEA 1050 establishes a special circumstances hunting safety card for those that have a developmental disability, a child determined to have a disability or an individual that has a permit disability. This special circumstances hunting safety card will have the same requirement that someone who is over 18 with a hunting license must accompany the special circumstances hunting safety card holder while hunting.
The Department of Natural Resources currently issues 200 special permits annually for those with disabilities. The individuals in these circumstances can pass the hunter education course but they do have certain limitations that hunters do not have.
It was my hope that this bill would open more doors for those with disabilities. As a hunting advocate myself, I love the sport, and I know those who do the apprenticeships grow to love the sport as well. I hope that this measure will give those who were formerly constrained by three apprenticeships the freedom to continue to hunt with their favorite hunting companion.
I am looking forward to spending time in the district this summer. If there are ever any issues you would like me to be aware of, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 317-232-9833 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to seeing you around the district!