[r85] Pond Report: Summer interim committees prove to be beneficial (7/28/2011)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Start Date: 7/28/2011 All Day
End Date: 7/28/2011
The 2011 interim study committees are officially underway. The various interim committees meet throughout the summer to discuss legislative issues that will help shape legislation for consideration in the 2012 session.  Interim committees are an important and necessary part of the legislative process because it allows for additional time to study issues that need a more in-depth examination.

 I am a member of the State Fair Advisory Committee, which will serve as a liaison between the Indiana State Fair Commission, the State Fair Board and the General Assembly. Some of the duties we have on this committee include reviewing policies affecting the activities of the commission, state fair, facilities at the fairgrounds and property owned by the commission.

The State Fair Advisory Committee will also provide guidance and recommendations concerning possible legislation for the commission and the State Fair Board.
Our first meeting is set for10:00 a.m. on Aug. 16 in the board room of the Administration Building of the Indiana State Fair Grounds. The agenda for the meeting is being prepared and will be available at a later date.
There have been several committees that have already met throughout July. The Health Finance Commission, the Interim Study Committee on Employment Issues and the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission are a few of the committees that have conducted their first meetings.
More committee hearings will be scheduled in the upcoming months as the legislators continue to gather information on various topics. The Interim Study Committee on Insurance will hold its first meeting on Aug. 2 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 431 of the Statehouse.
They will be discussing the manner in which health insurance and health care providers determine where patients are referred for health care services. They will also be discussing issues related to worker's compensation insurance carrier reimbursement rate schedules to medical service providers.

The Pension Management Oversight Commission will be meeting Aug. 3 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 431 of the Statehouse.

This committee will be hearing updates from the Indiana Public Retirement System regarding a variety of issues, such as the Public Employees Retirement Fund and the Indiana State Teachers Retirement Fund.

One final meeting that is set for the first week of August is the Environmental Quality Service Council. They will be meeting Aug. 4 at 1:00 p.m. in the Senate Chambers. The state of the environment, the annual report to the council and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's programs and related funding are all set to be discussed.

Additionally, the summer study committees are significant because this is a time when public testimony is heard. This allows the committee a chance to hear testimony from people who are directly affected by the issues being discussed.  This is truly a great way for you to participate and get involved in the legislative process. If you decide to attend an interim study committee at the Statehouse you should arrive early and enter through the east or west doors.

These were just a few of the many interim committees that are scheduled to meet this summer. For a full list of the 2011 interim committees contact my legislative assistant, Tom Havens at 317-234-2993 or go online and visit http://www.in.gov/legislative/interim/