Archive for June 15th, 2006

Legislative Council sets Interim Study Committees

The Legislative Council is a joint committee made up of members of both the House and Senate. It serves primarily as a basic administrative committee for the Legislative branch – addressing things like personnel, space utilization, and data processing issues. Another function of the Council is to establish the Interim Study Committees that hold hearings after the Legislature has technically adjourned.

Some of these committees are created by the Legislative Council in response to requests by members or to address pressing policy issues. Other committees have already been established by statute and vary in number from year to year.

Though it is not yet fully up to date for 2006, information on all interim committee membership and schedules can be accessed here.

This week, Legislative Council met to establish a new set of study committees and ask for recommendations from statutory committees. These committees will be meeting throughout the summer and fall this year. The resolution passed by the Council does not appear to be online yet, so I have compiled a list of new topics assigned to the various committees from the printed material that I have:

Interim Committees

Interim Study Committee on Public Health and Safety Matters
-Railroad labor camps
-Coal mine safety
-Smoke detectors and sprinklers in health facilities
-Food handling regulations for tax-exempt organizations

Interim Study Committee on Government Administration and Regulatory Matters
-Impact of privatization of non-health related services performed or administered by state agencies
-Impact of privatization on state employees who have been laid off
-License branch operations and closings
-Eminent domain issues (including the use by small, private utilities)
-Various matters involving non-profit entities

Interim Study Committee on Criminal Justice Matters
-Rights of “next of kin” in situations involving criminal activity
-Improvements to Indiana’s background check system
-Coroner qualification issues

Interim Study Committee on Children’s Issues
-Child labor
-Children’s health issues with emphasis on diabetes and obesity

Interim Study Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Issues
-Alcoholic beverage display requirements
-Clerk licensure and training
-Other various issues that were not resolved during the last session

Statutory Committees

Code Revision Commission
-Using respectful language when referring to people with disabilities in code

Counterterrorism and Security Council
-Security at ports, freight yards, and rail yards

Commission on Courts
-Appelate issues
-Establishment of a dedicated fund for court fees
-Establishment of a court with exclusive jurisdiction over commercial driver’s license cases

Indiana Economic Development Corporation
-Whether to develop incentives to encourage film, television, and new media production

Environmental Quality Service Council
-Indiana’s impact on Lake Michigan water quality and participation in the Great Lakes Protection Fund
-Regional sewer districts

Health Finance Commission
-Cost of delivering health care to diabetics
-Health coverage systems used in other jurisdictions
-Monitor and report on the impact of the privatization of health services performed or administered by state agencies (including the impact on laid off employees)
-Advisability of a certification program for surgical technicians

Health Policy Advisory Committee
-Restraint of trade issues associated with contact lenses
-Advisability of consolidating all the various health-related study committees

Select Joint Commission on Medicaid Oversight
-Medicaid reimbursement rates

Commission on Mental Health
-Social, emotional, and behavioral health screening of children

Natural Resources Study Committee
-Park issues, including development of Rail/Trail corridors

Pension Management Oversight Commission
-Police and fire pensions
-Factors used to compute public employee pensions
-Funding sources for pension relief for municipalities
-Issues related to the 1977 Police and Fire pension and disability fund

Regulatory Flexibility Committee
-Renewable energy development

Sentencing Policy Study Committee
-Impact of sealing and expunging criminal arrest and adjudication records, including the impact on employment and recidivism rates

Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy
-Eligibility for certain military benefits
-Expanding eligibility for the property tax deduction for low-income senior citizens by removing AV criteria
-Child welfare system funding
-Issues pertaining to public transportation and commerce

For the statutory committees, the above list summarizes new issues assigned for sudy. The Interim Study Committee page (assuming it is updated at some point) has a list of all the committees, with reference to their statutory authorization which details their full scope.

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