State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) has been named to three state legislative study committees that will meet to review a variety of issues during the coming months.
Dr. Smith was appointed to the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM), the Interim Study Committee on Education; and the Interim Study Committee on Government.
The interim committees explore a significant range of legislative topics. During the hearings, members listen to the testimony of experts and the general public. The committees are required to submit their reports and recommendations to the Indiana House and Senate by Nov. 1. During the legislative session, permanent committees, in both chambers, often consider bills based upon the interim committees’ findings.
The ICSSBM is a year-round commission that reviews a wide range of issues impacting African-American males in Indiana. The commission has offered numerous recommendations during the past two decades, many of which have become new laws designed to improve the economic, educational, professional, and social status of black males. Dr. Smith authored the original bill in 1993, which created the ICSSBM.
The Interim Study Committee on Education will explore ways to reduce school sexual misconduct violations and methods of improving the reporting of those violations. Dr. Smith is the ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee, which meets when the Indiana General Assembly is in session.
The Interim Study Committee on Government will examine several issues, including the expansion of the availability of open data in Indiana. The committee will also study revisions to Titles 4 and 5 of the Indiana Code. These include statutes concerning public purchases and property transfers, Indiana’s prompt payment stat-utes, laws that affect financing and construction of state office buildings and other facilities under the Indiana Finance Authority, statutes covering state and local government public works projects, and regulations on state contracting and related fiscal procedures.
In addition, the Interim Study Committee on Government will review the effects of recent chan-ges to annexation laws and determine the available procedures, if any, by which a public subdivision may transfer funds from one subdivision to another within the same county.