(STATEHOUSE) -- Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) announced State Sen. Brent Steele's (R-Bedford) appointment as chairman of the Commission on Courts.
Steele was also appointed to serve as a member of seven other panels -- The Outdoor Stage Equipment Safety Committee, Board of Trustees of the Criminal Justice Institute, Child Custody & Support Advisory Committee, Criminal Law & Sentencing Policy Study Committee, Indiana Public Defender Commission, Orange County Development Advisory Board and Military Base Planning Council.
A full list of appointments for Senate Majority Caucus members can be found by visiting in.gov/legislative/senate_republicans/2365.htm.
"A great deal of in-depth research is conducted during these summer study committees in hopes of addressing some of the current issues facing our state," Steele said. "Some of the most pressing topics up for review include updating criminal codes and felony classes to reflect changing societal needs, and encouraging outdoor stage safety without burdening small communities with costly state mandates."
Each summer and fall -- when Indiana's part-time legislature is not in session -- lawmakers are assigned to interim study committees that meet to review the state's top issues, as identified by the General Assembly during the prior legislative session.
"Study committees are an integral part of Indiana's legislative process," Long said. "Many of the topics examined by lawmakers during this time lay the groundwork for legislation that will come before the General Assembly in the upcoming session."
Steele added he expects some proposals generated for the 2013 session will focus on:
• Ensuring Indiana continues its record of balanced budgets and living within the state's means.
• Reviewing state taxes and regulations to make sure they are encouraging job creation.
• Making sure public education gives every student the opportunity for college and career success.
Study committee topics are assigned by the Legislative Council, comprised of 16 voting members -- eight from the House of Representatives and eight from the Senate.
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