Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) today appointed State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) as chairman of the Interim Study Committee on the School Funding Formula.
Long also tapped Charbonneau to serve as a member of the Northwest Indiana Advisory Board, Illiana Expressway Proposal Review Committee, Interim Study Committee on Education, Health Finance Commission, Shoreline Development Commission, Water Resources Study Committee, Regulatory Flexibility Committee and Environmental Quality Service 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 complicated, 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.
Charbonneau said the Interim Study Committee on the School Funding Formula will conduct a comprehensive review of how the state distributes education dollars to rural, suburban and urban school corporations. Members will examine funding to address students living in poverty, needing special education and lacking English-speaking skills.
Long said the Health Finance Commission will evaluate impacts of Obamacare on Indiana. Members will also study the prevalence of brain injuries and the scope and costs of brain injury services.
"Senator Charbonneau has worked diligently on these and similar issues in the past and undoubtedly he will continue with that same commitment on these study committees and commissions," Long said. "Hoosiers from all of our districts will benefit from Senator Charbonneau's work."
Charbonneau said he will also closely watch developments of other key study committees, review their recommendations and seek public input before the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes in January of 2011:
- Interim Study Committee on Economic Development: Will study economic development tools and evaluate how Indiana's tax laws can encourage business investment and job creation. Members will also review best practices in state and local economic development policies and study the use and effectiveness of tax credits and deductions.
- Census Data Advisory Committee: Will research ways to ensure the state's redistricting process is fair and accurate for the 2011 redistricting process and explore the best practices of other states, including the option of establishing an independent commission to draw district boundaries in the future.
- Unemployment Insurance Oversight Committee: Will study the costs of linking unemployment benefits to average weekly pay and cost of living increases, as well as adjusting the wage base on which employers must pay unemployment insurance premiums.
- Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee: Will examine if methamphetamine ingredients ephedrine and pseudoephedrine should be classified as controlled substances, the effectiveness of tracking the sales of these substances and the cost of cleaning contaminated properties where methamphetamines were manufactured. Lawmakers will review policies regarding "sexting" - sending sexually suggestive material over the Internet, cellular phones and other devices by minors - and study ways to reduce prison costs, stop repeat offenders and improve public safety.
- Interim Study Committee on Driver Education: Will review instructional standards of Internet-based and classroom programs and compare moving-violation and crash statistics among teen drivers from both learning models.
- Interim Study Committee on Gaming: Will study the new requirements for Hoosier-owned, sired and bred horses participating in Indiana races. Committee will also review the distribution of money between horse owners and race tracks.
Sen. Charbonneau represents Senate District 5, which includes Starke County and portions of Porter, LaPorte, Marshall, Jasper, Pulaski and St. Joseph counties.