The Indiana Department of Child Services will be part of the legislative agenda during the Indiana General Assembly’s 2013 session.
Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long outlined the Senate priorities during Organization Day. The ceremonial start to the 118th General Assembly was held Tuesday afternoon at the Statehouse.
During the annual event, the Legislature’s new members were sworn in and the first roll call of all state lawmakers was taken.
The 2013 session is a budget year, and lawmakers will be drafting a comprehensive proposal to fund government services for the next two years. By law, the 2013 session must be completed no later than April 29.
However, Long noted while legislators will focus on passing a budget, they will discuss a number of other policy initiatives. In the Senate, these additional priorities include protecting Hoosier children by improving Indiana’s Department of Child Services; improving schools and supporting teachers; and reforming the state’s criminal penalties.
Last session, the General Assembly took a step to address concerns with DCS by establishing the Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee. The committee has met six times and has a final meeting planned for 10 a.m. Nov. 27.