Indiana lawmakers will consider a number of controversial issues in study committees this year – including hate crimes and the Department of Child Services.
The four legislative caucus leaders vote to determine which topics will be studied – at least three must approve them. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he’s not sure hate crimes – bills for which have repeatedly failed the last few years – need to be studied any further.
“The question is whether the policy can get through the General Assembly,” Bosma says. “But this will give legislators one more opportunity to take a look at the topic and see if they can come up with some solutions that can pass both chambers.”
Issues at the Department of Child Services are also on the agenda, after an independent investigation wraps up next month. House Democratic Leader Terry Goodin (D-Austin) says a focus of his caucus will be local, frontline DCS workers.
“We want to make sure their voice is heard as well and if it’s not heard, we will bring those voices out to the table,” Goodin says.
Other controversial topics this year: medical marijuana, sports wagering, and alcohol laws.