Summer study committees to target more solutions to meet state’s needs
New topics to be examined include immigration, adult education and driver’s licenses
At first glance, the Statehouse seems quiet at this time of year. But there is no summer vacation where the legislature is concerned. Behind the scenes, important work continues in earnest via the summer study committee process.
During summer and fall months when the legislature is not in session full-time, lawmakers utilize bipartisan interim study committees and commissions to conduct in-depth research into complicated, complex issues facing Hoosiers. Often their efforts result in solutions and legislation that might otherwise go unaccomplished during the fast pace of the winter and springtime legislative session.
Six new Interim Study Committees will meet this summer, in addition to as many as 40 others.
New committees are:
Adult Education: The Interim Study Committee on Adult Education will address issues including funding of state-sponsored locally administered programs utilized by dropouts to acquire basic workforce skills and to complete K-12 graduation requirements.
Alcoholic Beverages: The Interim Study Committee on Alcoholic Beverages will review server training and sales clerk licenses, additional permits for restaurants in economic development areas, the possible separate display of alcohol by retailers and Sunday sales of microbrewery products.
Dialysis Coverage: The Interim Study Committee on Dialysis Coverage will address issues related to insurance coverage of dialysis treatment under accident and sickness insurance and HMO contracts.
Education Matters: The Interim Study Committee on Education Matters will review and make recommendations on virtual or computer-based learning, school transportation funding, college readiness, steroid testing, technology funding, and reciprocal tuition and fee exemptions by colleges.
Immigration: The Interim Study Committee on Immigration will research illegal immigrants’ costs to schools, hospitals, criminal justice and social service agencies; the impact of illegal immigrants on wages; federal limitations on state actions regarding immigration; and the accessibility and reliability of current and future federal citizenship verification systems like E-Verify.
Learner’s Permits and Graduated Driver’s Licenses: The Interim Study Committee on Learner’s Permits and Graduated Driver’s Licenses will consider the minimum age when learners and probationary drivers should be issued permits and licenses by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles; supervised practice-driving requirements before probationary licenses are granted; possible penalties for minors accompanying probationary drivers without required adult supervision; use of handheld devices by probationary drivers; and rules concerning driver education.
More information about committee topics, schedules and agendas will be available online at www.in.gov/legislative/interim.
Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is President Pro-Tem of the Indiana Senate. He serves District 16, which includes portions of Fort Wayne.
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