Indiana Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment, SJ 7 (2014)

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The Indiana Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment, known in the legislature as Senate Joint Resolution 7 did not make the 2014 general election ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment in Indiana. The proposed measure would have guaranteed the right of state citizens to hunt and fish, but it died in the House Judiciary Committee.[1]

A similar amendment has been proposed in the 2014 legislature session and was approved in both branches as Senate Joint Resolution 9. The amendment could be seen on the 2016 ballot if the resolution is again approved by the House and the Senate in either the 2015 or 2016 legislative session.[2]

Text of measure

Constitutional changes

If referred to the ballot and approved by voters, the measure would add a new section to Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution. It would read as follows:[3]

Text of Section 38:

The people have a right to hunt, fish, harvest game, or engage in the agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products, which is a valued part of our heritage and shall be forever preserved for the public good, subject only to laws prescribed by the General Assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly. Hunting and fishing shall be the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. This section shall not be construed to limit the application of any provision of law relating to trespass or property rights.

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Indiana Constitution

In order to send a constitutional amendment to the ballot, a majority vote is required in two successive sessions of the Indiana General Assembly. Indiana is one of 12 states where proposed amendments are considered in two successive sessions of the state's legislature.

First legislative session

On February 10, 2011 the House voted 44-5 in favor of referring the proposed measure to the statewide ballot. The Senate voted 40-9 on April 27, 2011.[4]

Second legislative session

On February 4, 2013, the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources voted 7-0 in favor of sending the amendment on to the senate. The resolution, however, died in a House Judiciary Committee.[5][6] The measure was moving through this legislative session as SJR 7.

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