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Fewer topics but interim committees still have work to do

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The internal changes to the Legislature’s interim study committee structure are not readily visible, but majority and minority leaders are optimistic the alterations will streamline the process and control the workload.

Under key provisions of a bill approved during the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly, the number of topics has been reduced and the Legislative Council has more control over what issues are studied. Also the legislators appointed to the interim committees will be drawn from the standing committees that review similar topics during the session.

“It does restrict the number of topics actually addressed by the committees and that is what really had gotten so out of hand,” Indiana Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said. “Sixty or 70 topics assigned with the same number of meetings they have now…, the committees were not able to spend sufficient time on those critical issues. So it’s hopefully a course to give them vision, to give them direction and to keep them pointed in the right direction.”

Working under Senate Enrolled Act 80, the Legislative Council met Wednesday and unanimously approved the resolution that assigned about 37 topics to 15 interim study committees.

Among the committees and their topics are:

  • Interim Study Committee on Corrections & Criminal Code: autism spectrum disorders of defendants; juvenile justice issues; and changes to the criminal code.
  • Interim Study Committee on Courts & Judiciary: Digital privacy; nonparty defense; adoption and requests for new courts or changes in the jurisdiction of existing courts.
  • Interim Study Committee on Education: pre-kindergarten and student discipline, including the suspension, expulsion or exclusion of a student from school.


The chairs of the study committee will not be able to introduce additional topics without the approval of the Legislative Council’s Personnel Subcommittee. Bosma reiterated this provision is meant to control the number of topics. Without the preapproval process, he said, the concern is the issues not assigned would be submitted directly to the chairs of the committees to pick up.

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, sees no problem with the committee chairs being prohibited from adding new study topics.  

During the 2013 interim session, he filled the agenda of his Commission on Courts with additional topics from the one assigned. Although he will now have to get thumbs up before assigning new topics, Steele does not think he will have any problem getting preapproval.  

Senate minority leader Tim Lanane also does not anticipate problems under the new committee structure.

“I think the Senate bill made some positive changes just in terms of how administratively do we establish the committees and we process the committees,” the Anderson Democrat said. “But I don’t think it disrupts what I think is the very important work of the interim study committees.”



 

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  1. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  2. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  3. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  4. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  5. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

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