When the House and Senate are in session at the beginning of every year, we are very busy discussing and deciding upon the issues before us. However, Indiana's General Assembly is a part-time legislature, meaning during the interim we spend much of our time at home in our districts and at our other jobs. But the work and our duties as state representatives are far from over during the interim.
Every year after the legislative session is complete, the Legislative Council meets to assign topics for study during the interim, as well as establish any new interim committee that is needed to examine a particular issue. Then, each representative is appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on an interim study committee.
I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed as the co-chair to the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development, and as a member to the Military Base Planning Council. Most interim committees begin meeting in July with the work wrapping up toward the end of October.
These interim, or summer study committees, as we usually call them, are a very important part of the legislative process. Even though session is adjourned for 2011, we will be continuing our duties this year by studying in-depth various topics assigned to our committees. Interim committees with specific expertise will receive public testimony and work out the details of proposed legislation before it is introduced in the 2012 session.
The economic development committee I am co-chairing this summer will be studying a variety of things that affect all Hoosiers including: best practices in state and local economic development policies, how well Indiana's tax laws attract new businesses and investments, the use and effectiveness of tax credits and deductions, and how well our schools support economic development.
The Military Base Planning Council Committee that I have also been assigned to will study how communities can best support expanding military bases in Indiana, how the state can enhance the long term potential of military bases in Indiana, and how some military bases could work with other institutions such as schools or state military offices to improve their economic potential.
The summer study committees give us time to delve deeper into important issues and to study new ways to improve our state and communities. I look forward to the positive impact our work will have. I will report back to you on our progress as we continue to meet throughout the summer.
Also, this Monday is the celebration of the founding of our nation. Please take time to reflect what a blessing our freedom as a people has been in this great country. We have rights and freedoms unequaled anywhere else in the world. Be sure to take time to appreciate what we have.
Celebrate safely and have a great Fourth of July.
Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper)