The importance of summer interim committees is undeniable. The committees allow legislators a chance to examine key issues and topics of concern. Now that the committees are wrapping up, recommendations are being made to help shape the upcoming legislation that will be discussed during the 2012 session.
My committees made great progress over the summer and I am proud to have been a member on both the State Fair Advisory Committee and the Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee.
The State Fair Advisory Committee dealt with many serious issues, especially after the tragic stage collapse that happened in August at the state fair. Some of the duties the committee was assigned to review were policies affecting the activities of the commission, the state fair, facilities at the fairgrounds, as well as property owned by the commission.
During the Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee, I was able to submit draft legislation pertaining to legal custody for the upcoming session. The preliminary draft establishes a presumption that an award of joint legal custody is in the best interest of a child.
During the committee’s final meeting they voted to adopt my proposed piece of legislation. The committee’s final report, which includes my proposal, will be presented to the Indiana General Assembly during the 2012 legislative session.
A multitude of topics were discussed in several committees throughout the summer. Some of the major topics of discussion included higher education tuition costs, criminal sentencing, health finance issues and finding ways to foster job growth in our state.
Now that the majority of the meetings are completed and final reports are being filed, this is a sure sign the 2012 legislative session is right around the corner.
The next big event on the calendar is Organization Day. This will be on November 22 and the Speaker of the House traditionally delivers a speech that will set the tone of the upcoming session which begins in January.
I am looking forward to the start of session and dealing with issues that are affecting those in our district and throughout the state of Indiana. Even though this is a short session, there is plenty of time to get work done and pass positive legislation for the Hoosier state.
As session gets underway, I will keep you informed on all that is happening at the Statehouse. I am confident that all the hard work legislators have put in over the summer months will aid in the upcoming session.
If you have any questions on this upcoming session or questions about my interim committees contact my legislative assistant, Tom Havens, at 317-234-2993.