The Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana has the green light to appoint an executive director.
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1080 last week, which gives nearly 4-year-old committee permission to hire an executive director. The legislation requires the individual to have at least a bachelor’s degree but allows the commission to determine all other qualification requirements and to assign all the duties the new director will perform.
Also, the bill provides that the Office of Judicial Administration will pay the salary. The Legislative Services Agency estimated the new director’s salary and fringe benefits could range between $145,000 and $152,000.
Office of Judicial Administration’s Chief Administrative Officer Mary Willis testified when the Senate Family and Children Services Committee reviewed the bill. She said the work of the commission — which includes meetings by the executive, regular and the new task force committees along with maintaining the website, preparing the annual report and reviewing legislation being considered by the Statehouse — has grown to the point that an executive director is needed.
“The executive director will help carry out the coordinated work of the commission and serve as a liaison among those task forces and the committees and the state agencies for a collaborative and cohesive plan as it relates to Indiana’s children,” Willis said.
Authored by commission member Rep. David Frizzell, HB 1080 passed the Indiana House of Representatives with unanimous support, but in the Indiana Senate, 11 Republicans voted against the measure.
Democratic Rep. Vanessa Summers attempted to amend the bill but failed. Her amendment would have had the commission study and make recommendations concerned infant mortality and children born with addiction.