Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, chats with Sen. Shelli Yoder, D-Bloomington, and Sen. J.D. Ford, D-Indianapolis on Tuesday. (Photo by Arianna Hunt, TheStatehouseFile.com)
By Arianna Hunt
June 13, 2023
Lawmakers proposed 160 topics for this year’s summer study committees, and 42 were chosen.
Summer study committee members meet in the summer and fall to discuss essential topics while consulting experts and the public to gain a better understanding of issues they may create legislation for in the next legislative session.
Notable among these topics were the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Indiana as it relates to workforce impacts and teen use, risks and possible opportunities of artificial intelligence, data on the increasing costs of higher education, and Medicaid oversight. For a complete list, go here.
With only 42 topics, some issues and committees are bound to be left out.
“Sen. [Shelli] Yoder had a very interesting study of menstrual products being taxed in the state of Indiana and how that has affected women across the country. There have actually been lawsuits filed. That did not make it to the agenda,” Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, said.
Eight committees were not assigned topics by the Legislative Council (including the education committee), but this doesn’t necessarily mean that these topics, or many more topics that weren’t assigned to a committee, won’t be looked at by lawmakers.
“What we try to remind our members is just because there isn’t a summer study committee, doesn’t mean you can’t gather people, talk to people, go meet with stakeholders and continue to learn about the topics,” said Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston.
Just because a topic has a summer study committee does not necessarily mean that there will be laws made around it.
“There are some things that end up on the agenda during the regular session that became law because of summer study committee,” Taylor said. “But let’s just be real about it. We live in a state legislature where there’s a supermajority, and so you’re going to have to convince the Republican caucus that it’s a formidable issue, and it’s something that should be done, and sometimes politics gets in the way and stagnates.”
Arianna Hunt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.