RUSHVILLE — Even though session has been out for a little more than a month, the General Assembly still has much work to do. I had a brief break where I got to go home and mow the lawn, spend time at my restaurant, the Brau Haus, and attend a few festivals in addition to continuing to work on constituent concerns. The time has come for work on summer study committees to commence and I’m ready to get back at it.
Every year after the legislative session is completed, the Legislative Council meets to assign topics for study during the interim as well as establish any new interim committees that need to examine a particular issue. Most interim committees begin meeting in July with their work wrapping up toward the end of October.
I’m excited and honored to be appointed by the Speaker of the House to the Indiana Commission on Autism. This is a great opportunity for me to continue my work from session and combine it with my passion of helping family and children.
The Commission on Autism has 14 members from the House and Senate who meet to study how people with autism and their families access services. We are charged with determining how many people in Indiana have autism, how much funding is needed for autism services and how much is available, what kinds of services are provided, how many people are using those services and how federal, state and local agencies work together to provide services for people with autism.
From the information we gather, we then oversee the continued development of a comprehensive state plan for services for individuals with autism and their families. We asked the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services and the Autism Society of Indiana to help create and manage this plan and ensure that Indiana is serving individuals with autism to the best of our ability.
This summer’s study committees will be the framework of the 2014 session. Topics that potentially could be brought up are researched, allowing for more in-depth discussion and development of our next blueprint. We are utilizing our time out of session to come up with a plethora of ways to help Indiana continue to grow and thrive. To see a complete list of the assigned committees, member appointments and what the committees are charged with studying, please visit: www.in.gov/house_republicans.
I truly believe that our state has the potential to lead the nation in more than economic development and job growth. We have the resources, human capital and – most importantly – the determination and fortitude to keep Indiana moving forward.
Any feedback you have on the 2013 session would be great to hear, and I welcome your ideas on how to improve our state. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-232-9850.
State Rep. Cindy Ziemke serves as Vice Chairman of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. She also serves on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction. Rep. Ziemke represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.