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Sen. Lawson appointed to chair two key commissions

Friday, July 15, 2011

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) has appointed State Sen. Connie Lawson (R-Danville) as chairman of the Commission on Developmental Disabilities and the Commission on Mental Health and Addiction.

Long appointed Lawson to serve as a member of the Census Data Advisory Committee and the Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Interagency Coordinating Council.

During summer and fall months when the legislature is not in session full-time, lawmakers utilize bipartisan interim study committees and commissions to conduct in-depth research into complex issues facing Hoosiers. Often their work results in solutions and legislation that might otherwise go unaccomplished during the fast pace of the winter and springtime legislative session, Long said.

"Sen. Lawson has spent many hours working on expanding access and improving services for Hoosiers," Long said. "I'm confident people not only from Sen. Lawson's district, but citizens from all over the state, will benefit from her efforts."

Lawson said she will watch developments of other key study committees, review recommendations and seek public input before the Indiana General Assembly meets in January of 2012.

The Commission On State Tax and Financing Policy will explore how each of the local option income taxes affects a facility that employs a significant number of out-of-county residents and those who commute daily to work at a facility.

The Interim Study Committee on Economic Development examines issues related to improving Indiana's economic climate and tax system as well as the use and effectiveness of tax credits and deductions. Committee members will discuss specific sectors of the economy where Indiana might have comparative advantages over other states and possible improvements to state tax law to might encourage business investment.

The Interim Study Committee on Education Issues will study graduation rates by reviewing best practices of other states and measuring the impact school counselors, teachers, administrators and parents have on achievement to improve them. Members will also examine superintendent compensation throughout Indiana and evaluate whether a statewide salary cap based upon the number of students per school district would be beneficial.

The Interim Study Committee on Employment Issues will investigate the idea of making Indiana a right-to-work state where unions and employers would be prohibited from denying employment to a person who does not wish to become a union member or forcing employees to pay union dues. The committee will also discuss project labor agreements, which preemptively place union requirements on projects, potentially curtailing labor competition.

The Interim Study Committee on Insurance will examine issues relating to worker's compensation insurance and a number of important items related to health care, including providers, prices and office billing procedures in connection with hospital charges. The committee will also consider the appropriate statute of limitations for making a claim under occupational disease compensation.

More information about committee topics, schedules and agendas is available online at www.in.gov/legislative/interim.



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