An e-mail from the Indiana Senate Majority Caucus:
Sen. Wyss reappointed chair of Homeland Security, Transportation and Veteran Affairs
Local legislator will serve as ranking member of Senate Committee on Rules & Legislative Procedure
(December 3, 2010) – President Pro Tem David Long today reappointed Sen. Tom Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) to chair the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Transportation and Veteran Affairs.
This panel reviews bills relating to public safety, including manmade and natural threats, statewide emergency notification systems and university and college law enforcement. Members consider legislation relating to the financing and maintenance of highways, byways and bridges, regional and state transit, regulation of motor vehicles and traffic ordinances. Lawmakers also hear bills relating to veteran benefits and treatment.
Long (R-Fort Wayne) also appointed Wyss to serve as ranking member of Rules and Legislative Procedure and as a member of the Senate Committees on Appropriations, Local Government, and Appointments and Claims. Wyss is also on the Senate’s Transportation Subcommittee.
Lawmakers formally organized for the 2011 legislative session on Nov. 16. They will reconvene on Jan. 5.
“Senator Wyss brings his professional business background, breadth of expertise and strong commitment to homeland security issues to these important Senate committees,” Long said. “Over the years, he has become the Senate’s resident expert on homeland security and transportation policy. His track record of sound legislation has saved countless Hoosier lives, and I know he will continue to be a valuable asset to our Senate colleagues and to those he serves.”
Long said Senate leaders worked once again in bipartisan fashion to “combine lawmakers’ talents and passions” to help Indiana move forward on a variety of key issues, including passing a balanced budget, avoiding tax hikes, promoting economic development and job creation, improving education and developing a fair redistricting plan for legislative and congressional districts.
Introduced legislation often impacts various policy matters of state government, Long said. However, he offered snapshots of what issues Wyss’ committees generally address each legislative session:
Appointments & Claims: Reviews issues involving Senate employees, including hiring, disciplinary measures, promotions and salary matters, as well as any other topics assigned to it by the Senate President Pro Tempore.
Appropriations: Considers budget bill and other legislation that allocates state funds to numerous government agencies, departments and organizations on a biannual basis, in addition to other related issues.
Local Government: Examines policies aimed at maintaining effective and responsive local governance for Hoosiers, including legislation that addresses reforms, land use issues and public work projects, among other related topics.
Rules & Legislative Procedures: Ensures the rules for conducting business within the Indiana Senate are clearly defined and available to all elected officials and members of the public. Establishes the standing committees of the Senate and reviews new language not previously passed by either chamber that has been inserted into a conference committee report.