Child Safety and Welfare 2015 Interim Study Committees announced

2015 Interim Study Committees announced

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Every summer the Indiana General Assembly constructs study committees and commissions to explore a variety of topics concerning the bills and laws from the past session. The recommendations from these studies are likely to be a blue print for bills proposed in the upcoming session. Committees are made up of members from the General Assembly and serve as one-half of its voting membership.

The following is a list of the interim study committees and commissions as well as the topics they are assigned:

  • Issues related to facilitating an Indiana based local farm and food product economy.
  • The production and use of hemp oil produced from industrial hemp.
  • Offenders facing difficulties reentering the workforce after being released from penal facilities.
  • Review Indiana’s adult protective service laws.
  • Evaluate adult protective services units and programs
  • Identify the best practices for adult protective services programs.
  • Consider a stateside program to assist with county level adult protective service programs.
  • Review abuse prevention, financial exploitation, and physical and mental abuse of the elderly.
  • Evaluate current funding levels for adult protective services.
  • Review the retrieval of DNA samples from those arrested for a felony.
  • Emerging technology platforms and their impact on crimes involving sexual assault, blackmail, and bullying.
  • Various programs and policies for victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Interim Study Committee on Courts and Judiciary

  • Review the caps on damages under the Medical Malpractice Act and potential improvements to the medical review panel process.
  • Jurisdictions of existing courts and the creation of an additional commissioner for the Marion County Circuit Court
  • Availability of identifying information in adoptions.
  • School testing and reporting requirements and their impact on school corporations, testing requirement, data collections, and both state and federal requirements.
  • Special education topics for developmentally delayed children including funding, current resources, and the cost of providing additional services to kindergarten and first graders.
  • Whether the ISTEP program should be replaced with an alternative statewide assessment.
  • Regulations concerning alternative energy production, co-generation, and small hydro facilities.
  • Provision of affordable broadband services in under-served areas.

Interim Study Committee on Environmental Affairs

  • Solid waste management districts to determine whether changes should be made to statutes governing solid waste management districts.
  • Water distribution systems relevant to the White, Wabash, and Ohio River basins.
  • Interim Study Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Property or casualty insurance coverage for an innocent co-insured.

Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy

  • A multi-year review, analysis, and evaluation of all tax incentives.
  • Review the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit program
  • Review statute governing the use and approval of school corporation capital projects funds.
  • Alternative means of agricultural assessment.
  • Whether a uniform food and beverage tax should be enacted if adopted by local governments.
  • Public records requests for police body camera video.
  • The effects of annexation laws on economic development projects.
  • Reducing the size of the Indiana Code by identifying statutes that are obsolete, superseded or no longer applicable.

Interim Study Committee on Pension Management Oversight

  • Review and report on all requests for changes in a public pension program.
  • Needle distribution and collection programs as part of a comprehensive response to reducing disease transmission due to intravenous drug use. The study must include a review of the appropriate criminal penalties for drug offenses and drug paraphernalia related offenses and the use of problem solving courts.
  • The report of the Department of Insurance with information concerning :
    • The Department’s accident and sickness insurance or health maintenance organization consumer complaint process.
    • Current definitions in accident and sickness insurance policies and health maintenance organization contacts for “investigatory”, “experimental”, or similar terms used for denials of claims.
    • Accident and sickness health insurance health maintenance organization claim data concerning denials of claims in the previous three calendar years.
    • A review of the data described above for denials because a procedure was deemed experimental, investigatory, or a similar term and a comparison of these procedures and whether, with data available, the Medicaid and Medicare programs consider these procedures to be experimental or investigatory.
  • Whether smoking should be prohibited in bars, casinos and private clubs.
  • The fiscal impact of prohibiting smoking in bars, casinos and private clubs.
  • Whether e-cigarettes should be defined as tobacco products and subject to smoking bans.
  • E-cigarette taxation.
  • The fiscal impact of an increase in the cigarette tax.
  • Possible funding sources for tobacco use prevention and cessation programs.
  • The impact of the tobacco tax on smoking rates and healthy living ratings relative to other states.
  • The impact of smoking upon families and pregnancy.
  • The costs incurred by the state as a result of smoking during pregnancy and smoking within families.
  • The fiscal impact of changing existing laws regarding cigarette tax distribution.
  • The sale by a motor vehicle manufacturer of new motor vehicles directly to consumers other than through an independent franchised new motor vehicle dealer that has a physical place of business capable of performing complete warranty service on motor vehicles produced by the manufacturer.
  • Use of enterprise zone money for public transportation.
  • Blocked railroad grade crossings.
  • Steps the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is taking in response to the BKD Operational Assessment.
  • Advise the BMV regarding the suitability of a special group to have a special group recognition license plate.

Code Revision Commission

  • Prepare technical correction language to implement SEA 441-2014 (tax matters) and SEA 500-2015 (obsolete education statutes).
  • A multi-year project to re-codify (and revise as necessary to facilitate understanding of and compliance with) part of all of Titles 4 and 5 (general government operations).
  • Alternative methods for establishing districts for the election of members of the General Assembly and members of Congress from Indiana.

Budget Committee

  • Pay discrepancies in the Indiana State Police Department and how pay scales in the Department compare to city, county and surrounding state law enforcement agencies.

Committee on Improving the Status of Children

  • Teen suicide prevention.