In looking at the past few years, meth lab busts have continued to increase, and I consider this a very serious problem that is affecting our community and many others throughout Indiana. This session, I introduced a bill alongside State Representatives David Ober (R-Albion) and Rebecca Kubacki (R-Syracuse) that will allow people to get a better understanding of where they are living.
This past year, I had the opportunity to meet a man who had suffered the effects of breathing in air from houses previously contaminated by methamphetamine. The real estate appraiser had suffered lung damage and now carries a breathing mask while on the job. My intention with this bill is to stop instances like this and create a healthier, safer community.
With House Bill (HB) 1141, the Indiana State Police will be able to create a database with house listings of all properties affected by methamphetamine. Also included on this list would be houses that have been decontaminated and emptied. The ISP would be able to keep a second list with all previous houses associated with the production of methamphetamine even if it has already been taken off of the public list.
Currently in state stature, after a “meth” bust is made, the police are required to contact the Indiana Department of Health who will then evacuate and decontaminate the home. Throughout this process, costs can go into the thousands to make sure the home isn’t a health risk to the surrounding people and properties. But, the process doesn’t end there as many times the blighted property will be vacant for months or years, lowering property values and depreciating entire communities.
What I would like to see happen with HB1141 is for a person that is looking at buying a home to be able to see, in the buyer’s agreement, if that house has ever been in contact with the creation of methamphetamine. Furthermore, buyers would be able to see if the home has been properly decontaminated, and it would be required that the real estate commission obligates owners into disclosing if a house has ever been involved in the creation of methamphetamine. My intention is to protect the public from others who don’t seem to care.
Right now I am working with the Government and Regulatory Reform committee on the bill to better explain its purpose, and I remain hopeful that this bill will pass in year. The amount of victims left in the wake of methamphetamine is unacceptable and hurts Indiana communities. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow legislators on making sure this bill will have a positive impact on our state and communicating with my district on the positive changes that would be made for their hometowns.