Governor Mike Pence’s Drug Abuse Task Force is scheduled for only three meetings, with some questioning whether much can be accomplished in such a short period. Task force co-chair John Hill says the three meetings might just be the beginning.
The first task force meeting took place in Indianapolis earlier this month; the other two will take place in Evansville and South Bend. Hill says he wants the group to address some of the most pressing issues in those meetings and provide recommendations for legislative action next session:
“If that takes three meetings,then I hope that we can conclude it," he says. "But I fully envision that this is going to last beyond January of next year."
"I'm not trying to be evasive," he adds. "I just don’t know how long it’s going to go.”
Democrat Terry Goodin is one of four state lawmakers on the task force. He says he thinks the meetings are a way for Indiana to essentially admit it has a drug abuse problem; the Crothersville representative says he’ll give a verdict about its effectiveness closer to session:
“As we move forward I’m going to continue to be optimistic," Goodin says. "At a certain point where I realize that, hey, maybe people weren’t as serious as we thought they were, then at that time I think’s when we talk about it.”
The Evansville meeting will take place in October; the South Bend meeting will be held in November.