Leaders Look At Reining In Summer Study Committees

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February 3, 2014 — Indiana Public Broadcasting–

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says the General Assembly’s summer study committees have gotten out of control and could end up stretching state resources too thin. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, Long is backing legislation to reign in the number of committees.

There were nearly 40 summer study committees, commissions or subcommittees last year. Senator Long says in some cases multiple committees are looking at the same topics , duplicating efforts and costing money .He says some committee meetings failed to produce enough members to take official action because committee members are stretched too thin. And Long says it’s placing a heavy burden on the Legislative Services Agency, the General Assembly’s nonpartisan legal and fiscal analysis group:

Just my conversation with LSA alone said they’re going to have to hire more personnel to deal with this issue if we don’t get our arms around it.”

Long’s legislation would reduce the number of committees to 17. He’s also directing the Senate not to create any new committees this session, but merely to assign topics to existing committees. Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says he agrees on the need to pare back the number of committees:

But I don’t want to get so restrictive that we really just get sort of damage the purpose of the summer study committees, which I think is an opportunity for people to be certainly heard.”

The bill is up for passage in the Senate this week. If approved, it will move to the House.


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