For immediate release: Jul 16, 2012
Posted by: [s38]
Contact: Peg McLeish
Phone: 317-232-9507
Email:

Lawmakers look to boost local food production

Skinner to serve on Interim Study Committee on Agriculture

INDIANAPOLIS-As the popularity of farmers markets and buying local foods increase, lawmakers are considering ways to foster this opportunity for local economic growth. State Senator Tim Skinner (D-Terre Haute) has been reappointed to serve on the Interim Study Committee on Agriculture which will take up a review of the issue this year.

Under House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1312, Interim Study Committee on Agriculture was charged with conducting a review of how to reduce obstacles and encourage the production and distribution of more locally grown food in Indiana. Recommendations by the committee would be considered as new legislation by next year's General Assembly.

According to Skinner, HEA 1312 also had an immediate benefit for local food producers by removing obstacles facing small poultry farmers and allowing them to sell more home-grown food products, such as frozen poultry, at their farms or at farmers markets.

Skinner is also serving on the Select Commission on Education, a new commission that has begun review of the impact of recent education reforms and their implementation by the Indiana Dept. of Education. The commission began meeting in April and has reviewed a number of topics, including letter grade designations for schools and public schools that have been taken over by private management teams, known as "turnaround academies." The commission is also expected to hold hearings on recent changes to teacher evaluations and licensing rules, clarification of school instructional expense reporting, and school corporation disannexation.

Skinner has also been appointed or reappointed to serve on the Select Joint Commission on Medicaid Oversight, Alzheimer's Disease and Related Senile Dementia Task Force, Indiana Commission on Autism, Interim Study Committee on Driver Education, Commission for a Drug Free Indiana, ISTEP Program Citizens' Review Committee, Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy, and Workforce Innovation Council.

The Indiana General Assembly annually convenes interim study committees and permanent commissions to conduct in-depth research and analysis of issues affecting the state. Recommendations from these committees are often the basis for future legislation. More information about committee topics, schedules and agendas is available online at www.IN.gov/legislative/interim.

For more information on Sen. Skinner, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.SenateDemocrats.IN.gov.

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