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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. Being on this journey from the beginning has convinced me the justice system really doesn't care about the welfare of the child. The trial court judge knew the child belonged with the mother. The father having total disregard for the rules of the court. Not only did this cost the mother and child valuable time together but thousands in legal fees. When the child was with the father the mother paid her child support. When the child was finally with the right parent somehow the father got away without having to pay one penny of child support. He had to be in control. Since he withheld all information regarding the child's welfare he put her in harms way. Mother took the child to the doctor when she got sick and was totally embarrassed she knew nothing regarding the medical information especially the allergies, The mother texted the father (from the doctors office) and he replied call his attorney. To me this doesn't seem like a concerned father. Seeing the child upset when she had to go back to the father. What upset me the most was finding out the child sleeps with him. Sometimes in the nude. Maybe I don't understand all the rules of the law but I thought this was also morally wrong. A concerned parent would allow the child to finish the school year. Say goodbye to her friends. It saddens me to know the child will not have contact with the sisters, aunts, uncles and the 87 year old grandfather. He didn't allow it before. Only the mother is allowed to talk to the child. I don't think now will be any different. I hope the decision the courts made would've been the same one if this was a member of their family. Someday this child will end up in therapy if allowed to remain with the father.

  2. Ok attorney Straw ... if that be a good idea ... And I am not saying it is ... but if it were ... would that be ripe prior to her suffering an embarrassing remand from the Seventh? Seems more than a tad premature here soldier. One putting on the armor should not boast liked one taking it off.

  3. The judge thinks that she is so cute to deny jurisdiction, but without jurisdiction, she loses her immunity. She did not give me any due process hearing or any discovery, like the Middlesex case provided for that lawyer. Because she has refused to protect me and she has no immunity because she rejected jurisdiction, I am now suing her in her district.

  4. Sam Bradbury was never a resident of Lafayette he lived in rural Tippecanoe County, Thats an error.

  5. Sam Bradbury was never a resident of Lafayette he lived in rural Tippecanoe County, Thats an error.

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