State Rep. Vernon G. Smith to serve on 2018 legislative interim study committees

June 20, 2018 Vernon G. Smith

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) has been named to five state legislative study committees that will meet to examine a variety of issues during the coming months.

Dr. Smith will serve on the Distressed Unit Appeal Board; the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males; the Interim Study Committee on Commerce & Economic Development; the Interim Study Committee on Education; and the Interim Study Committee on Elections.

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.

In June, Dr. Smith was appointed to the Distressed Unit Appeal Board (DUAB), which receives petitions from distressed political subdivisions and school corporations in need of relief. Gary and Muncie school districts have undergone significant changes because of recent legislative action. DUAB’s actions, like the appointment of emergency managers, have a direct impact on the Gary and Muncie school boards. Dr. Smith said he appreciates the opportunity to serve as a non-voting member of DUAB so that he may represent the views of the Gary community and the Muncie community as well.

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 its 25-year history, 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 examine the topic of autism and public education. In addition, the committee will review issues relating to career counseling in elementary schools and high schools. Those issues include funding, workload, multiple graduation pathways, and the fiscal impact of having multiple graduation pathways.

The Interim Study Committee on Elections will examine a variety of issues concerning issues impacting the operation of elections.