Vaping, ticket scalping, drug prices on agenda for summer study

Lawmakers will be tackling topics ranging from imposing new taxes on CBD oil and vaping products to the impact of property tax referendums on teacher pay this summer and fall in legislative study committees.

The Legislative Council, which is composed of members of both parties and chambers in the General Assembly, on Tuesday approved a 10-page list of topics that lawmakers will study for proposed legislation next year.

“Study committees provide an important opportunity for lawmakers to examine complicated issues in depth without the same time restrictions we face during a legislative session,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, in a written statement. Bray serves as chair of the council while House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, is vice-chair.

The council started with more than 155 potential study topics during the formal legislative session. Now, the council has between 40 and 50 topics to work with, according to George Angelone, executive director of the Legislative Services Agency.

The study committees are taking up some issues that were raised during the legislative session that ended in April.

Both the financial institutions and public health committees will be examining issues that contribute to the costs of health care, including current trends in delivering health care and access in rural areas. Those committees may hold a joint hearing on the topic.

In addition, the public health committee will examine prescription drug pricing and access, which will include the efforts made by pharmaceutical companies to be transparent about costs. The same committee will explore the state’s current hospital licensing structure.

Indiana’s sentencing reform laws from the 2014 and 2015 sessions will be under review by the Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code. The committee will also examine all legislative proposals to increase penalties or create new category of crimes.

Ticket scalping and the entire commercial ticketing market will be taken up by the Committee on Public Policy.

House and Senate leaders will assign members to each study committee in the coming weeks and meetings are open to the public.

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