Lawmakers Approve Study Topics For Summer Committees

May 21, 2019

Prescription drug prices and rising health care costs, ticket scalping, and adoption subsidies are just some of the issues lawmakers will tackle in study committees this year.

Legislative leaders approved more than 40 study topics for the interim agenda at a meeting Tuesday.

One of the issues will be e-cigarette and CBD oil taxes. That’s something lawmakers couldn’t agree on in the 2019 session – in part, Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) says, because the technical issues surrounding those taxes are complicated.

“So we’ll have the opportunity to more fully vet the idea through the summer,” Bray says.

Also on the docket this summer: criminal penalties. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says since the General Assembly passed a major criminal code overhaul five years ago, lawmakers each session have proposed harsher sentences for various crimes – without considering an overall effect.

“And it’s very difficult to vote against that, from a political perspective, because those have been used in campaigns, historically, to say somebody’s light on crime rather than thoughtful about crime,” Bosma says.

Bosma says lawmakers will explore whether to adopt an informal policy that bills to increase penalties should first be vetted by a study committee.