Rural viability, energy policy, and taxes are the three main legislative priorities spelled out this past week by the Indiana Farm Bureau.

Rural viability

As more people migrate to suburban and urban centers, finding ways to keep communities prospering.

This priority focuses on working with members in rural communities to help find solutions to many of the challenges facing rural Indiana, such as lack of or insufficient broadband, need for increased workforce development, and improved rural public health.

“Our members were successful in getting major legislative issues through the general assembly last year,” said Andy Tauer, INFB executive director of public policy. “For example, we were able to get the expansion of funding for rural broadband to unserved and underserved Hoosiers in several pieces of legislation during last year’s session.

Tauer continued, “This year, we want to take it a step further to make sure those strategic broadband investments make it to those unserved and underserved communities. We also want to collaborate with groups looking to solve other challenges for our rural communities whether that’s in terms of education, early career development opportunities, infrastructure or regulatory issues that impact members.”

Energy policy

Working to find an all-of-the-above energy and climate strategy for Indiana in terms of carbon markets, electric generation and liquid transportation fuels.

With the push for more electric vehicles, INFB believes conversations and policies that keep Hoosier-grown liquid fuels as part of the energy mix will be essential to farmers.

INFB will also advocate for the evolution of carbon markets to find ways for all farmers adopting conservation and innovative farming practices to participate in programs.

Tax policy

Finding tax policies that are fair and equitable for all INFB members.

In addition to federal tax policy, such as protecting the step-up in basis, capital gains and estate tax exemptions, INFB advocates for affordable and equitable growth in local tax base and local school funding alternatives.

“At state and local levels, we are always thinking about how to fund rural schools, fire protection and other safety issues that are important to our members,” Tauer said.

You can hear Tauer in the Leon-Tailored Audio above.   They run for 19 minutes.