Column: Preparing for the future


Commentary by Kathy K. Richardson



Fall is a time of transition. The season is changing, the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to vary from green to beautiful shades of orange. Fall is also a time of transition for members of the General Assembly. With new laws from the previous legislative session already in effect, lawmakers begin to shift focus and prepare for the next year’s legislative session.

As a part-time Legislature, much of the groundwork for session takes place throughout the summer and fall months. Lawmakers, appointed by the Legislative Council, serve on interim study committees, which are tasked with reviewing a variety of assigned topics that are critical to our state’s future.

With additional time during the interim, study committees provide lawmakers the opportunity to look at important issues more in-depth, thoroughly discussing and debating them, so that we can make the most informed decisions during the legislative session. They also provide the opportunity for subject-matter experts as well as the public to testify on issues that are important to them. In many cases, the recommendations made by the committees, which are outlined in a final report, result in legislative proposals for the next year.

Since a majority of the committees conclude their work by the end of October, there are still many exciting topics that will be addressed in the upcoming weeks. For example, we are always looking for new ways to create an environment conducive to economic development and growth, which will be the topic of discussion during the Oct. 15 Commerce and Economic Development Committee meeting. Job creation and retention continues to be a priority, so it is important that we discuss every alternative to make Indiana a place where commerce can thrive and Hoosiers can find lasting, meaningful employment.

There are many other committees that will discuss a variety of issues such as Fiscal Policy, which will help prepare us for the budget cycle. The Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee will review issues related to veterans and look at ways we can better protect Hoosiers. One of the most important committees is Education that will review topics like pre-K spending.

These are just a few of the many topics that will be addressed, and the committee schedule as well as each meeting’s agenda is available online at

Kathy Kreag Richardson is the District 29 State Representative (R-Noblesville). She may be contacted at or 773-6123.