[r63] Continuing to work hard for Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer is finally here and that means it is once again time to talk about interim study committees. After each legislative session adjourns, these committees allow my colleagues and me the opportunity to continue our work throughout the summer months. Members of the committees are tasked with discussing, debating and conducting in-depth review on certain topics assigned to them by the Legislative Council.

Last month, the council met to determine the topics that will be studied this summer, among which were digital privacy, early childhood education and veterans' benefits, to name a few. I am pleased to share that House Speaker Brian Bosma announced the 2014 interim committee assignments for members of the Indiana House of Representatives, once again assigning me to the Military Base Planning Council. 

The Military Base Planning Council consists of each member of the House of Representatives, as well as the Senate, whose district includes all or part of a county that contains a military base. It also includes the lieutenant governor, the adjutant general, the executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and a few others.  

As members, we are tasked with identifying what public infrastructure and community support is needed to develop and expand military bases in Indiana. In addition, we seek to identify existing and potential impacts of state infringement on these bases across the state. Once we have identified them, then we can work to minimize the impacts of any state encroachment in order to enhance the long term potential of our military bases. The council is also charged with identifying opportunities for collaboration among the state, political subdivisions, military contractors and academic institutions. 

Military bases strengthen our local economies and are extremely important to our fiscal well-being. As you have probably heard me say before, our own Crane military base contributes $2 million per day to our state economy. During the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure, Indiana almost lost Crane. Our military bases are not something that Indiana can afford to lose, and I look forward to building on the progress we made this year and continuing to find innovative ways to support, maintain and expand military bases across Indiana.

This committee, along with most, will begin meeting in July with a majority of our work wrapping up by the end of October. I believe that the work that is completed during the interim is just as vital as the legislative session, if not more so. Interim committees are an integral part of the legislative process and are an excellent opportunity to look into issues in greater detail than we can during the regular session. In fact, these discussions are what shape the legislation that is introduced in the next session. 

If you would like to see a complete list of the assigned committees, my appointment and what each committee is charged with studying, please visithttp://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/.