Friday, May 11, 2018

Legislative Council to Announce Interim Study Topics

During the legislative session, lawmakers advanced a number of potential areas for further study through bills and resolutions. Next Tuesday, May 15th, the Legislative Council will select topics for what is commonly referred to as “summer study.” These longer, more in-depth sessions allow legislators the time needed to explore pressing problems and their potential policy solutions. Often, they result in bill proposals for the following legislative session.

With so many topics to choose from, the members of Legislative Council will need to be selective. As we saw last summer, important topics like paid family and medical leave won’t be assigned unless lawmakers hear from constituents.

Here’s how to ensure that topics addressing the needs of working families make the final cut:

In the list below, we highlight some of the topics lawmakers suggested this session that would shine a spotlight on the needs of working families. Is there one (or more) you feel strongly about? Contact the members of the Legislative Council and let them know. Is one of your lawmakers a member of the Council? Be sure to tell them you are a constituent! As you are crafting your message, be sure to tell them which topic(s) you want to be assigned to an interim study committee and why it matters to Hoosier families and communities.

   Study topics, champions, and why the issue matters to working families:

  • PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE (TALLIAN K) Why it matters: Family and medical leave provides time off from work to welcome a newborn or newly adopted family member, care for an ill or dying loved one, or tending to one’s own serious medical needs. Unfortunately, many families do not have paid time off during these important leaves, and many employers struggle to afford to provide larger stretches of leave. Other states have created programs to make paid leave available and affordable, and Indiana should explore these solutions.
  • WORKFORCE FUNDING AND PROGRAMS (HUSTON T) Why it matters: The legislation passed so far to reorganize the state’s workforce programs has done little to reduce the barriers for low-income working adults to enter education and training programs. Studying whether the state should submit a 'Combined' WIOA plan to align the state's workforce programs across agencies would help unlock resources for supportive services for working adults such as transportation and child care.
  • MENTAL HEALTH ACCESS (KIRCHHOFER C) Why it matters: Particularly focused on the opioid crisis, this suggested topic would urge the legislative council to study the impact that opioid treatment programs have on the neighborhoods and communities in the immediate area of the opioid treatment programs.
  • BROADBAND GRANTS AND HIGH SPEED INTERNET SERVICE (OBER D) Why it matters: Some families and communities lack access to internet service. This topic would produce a report on this and other issues to the interim study committee on energy, utilities, and telecommunications before October 1, 2018.
  • NUTRITIONAL ASSISTANCE (VANNATTER H) Why it matters: This topic would enable the legislature to more closely study eligibility verification and monitoring, identity authentication, and work requirements for participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid program.
  • STUDY OF PHARMACY DESERTS (BROWN C) Why it matters: This would provide a more solid grasp on what pharmacy deserts look like in rural and urban areas of Indiana and potential solutions.
  • EDUCATION MATTERS (BEHNING R) Why it matters: This study would encourage the General Assembly to look at the adequacy of career counseling to students.
  • WORKER'S COMPENSATION (FORD J) Why it matters: This study would look at the possibility of increasing the benefit schedules for worker's compensation and occupational diseases compensation.

Legislative Council Members:

Rep Brian Bosma | 317-232-9677 | |@Brian_Bosma
Sen. David Long | 317-232-9416 | | @INSenateGOP
Sen. Rodric Bray | 317-234-9426 | | @bray_rodric
Sen. Jean Breaux | 317-232-9534 | | @SenJeanBreaux
Sen. Susan Glick | 317-232-9493 | | @INSenateGOP
Sen. Randall Head | 317-232-9488 | | @Randy_Head
Sen. Timothy Lanane | 317-232-9427 | | @TimLanane
Sen. James Merritt | 317-232-9533 | | @Jim_Merritt
Sen. Karen Tallian | 317-232-9847 | | @SenKarenTallian
Rep. John Bartlett | 317-232-9987 | | @inhsedems
Rep. Timothy Brown | 317-232-9651 | | @tbrownmdrep
Rep. Terry Goodin | 317-232-9794 | | @terry_goodin
Rep. Linda Lawson | 317-232-0243 | | @inhsedems
Rep. Matt Lehman | 317-232-9677 | | @INHouseGOP
Rep. Kathy Richardson | 317-234-9380 | | @repkathykr
Rep. Gregory Steuerwald | 317-232-9833 | | @INHouseGOP

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