Tallian bill protects Hoosiers’ right to use Lake Michigan beaches

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, the Indiana Senate approved State Senator Karen Tallian’s (D-Ogden Dunes) Senate Bill (SB) 553. This proposal defines Hoosiers’ right to use the Lake Michigan shoreline for recreational purposes.

In the case Gunderson v. Indiana, the Indiana Supreme Court determined that residents of Indiana have a right to access Lake Michigan’s shoreline, but the justices delegated to the legislature the task of clarifying which activities entail recreational use.

“It is our responsibility as legislators to clarify this Supreme Court ruling, so everyone knows the rights they have on Lake Michigan’s beaches,” Sen. Tallian said. “It is my intention in this bill to define recreation as broadly as possible so Hoosiers can continue using the beaches in the same way they have been used for the past century.”

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal of the case, making SB 553 even more critical.

“With the U.S. Supreme Court keeping the Indiana ruling in place, this bill is the next logical step to solidifying Hoosiers’ access to the shoreline and the ability to take part in the activities they enjoy,” Sen. Tallian said.

SB 553 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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