Statehouse — A bill authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would give municipalities the option to use state or federal floodplain mapping data has passed the Senate by a vote of 40-5.
Senate Bill 242 (SB 242) would repeal a provision requiring a local floodplain administrator to use state floodplain mapping data, which is more restrictive than federal data.
“Giving local floodplain administrators the option to use state or federal floodplain mapping data is a matter of property rights,” Leising said. “Restricting what floodplain mapping data can be used greatly impacts property value and a residents’ ability to build on to their own land.”
Leising authored SB 242 after hearing testimony from many constituents across the state and experts from organizations including the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Farm Bureau, Slonaker Farm Management, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, and Indiana Department of Environmental Management during multiple Drainage Task Force meetings last year.
The Drainage Task Force was created by Senate Enrolled Act 85, also authored by Leising, during the 2022 legislative session. The task force reviews drainage laws and makes determinations and recommendations concerning drainage and regulatory matters.
“Many residents are struggling to develop or sell their homes because the area is designated in a state floodplain, even if the federal government does not designate the land in a floodplain,” Leising said. “This has resulted in mounting frustration from rural communities, so Senate Bill 242 simply provides flexibility for local governments to make more informed decisions on whether someone can build on their land without harming the environment.”
SB 242 will now move to the Indiana House of Representatives for further consideration.
To learn more about the bill, visit iga.in.gov.