In the past week or two, much has been written about recent legislative committee assignments, at both the federal and state government levels. At the state level, all committee assignments are significant. Probably the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Appropriations and Tax and Fiscal Policy committees rank as most prestigious, since they address the two-year budget and any bills that impact it. The Ways and Means Committee will be chaired by Crawfordsville Rep. Tim Brown, a medical doctor, who will replace the retired Jeff Espich.
In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee will remain under the leadership of Sen. Luke Kenley, while Tax and Fiscal Policy will continue to be led by Brandt Hershman. One major change, however, will split the Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee into two committees, with former Chairman Allen Paul retaining the Insurance Committee. The new Financial Institutions Committee will be chaired by Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle. Holdman, a former bank president, is a knowledgeable and industrious senator with whom IBA has worked for many years.
At the federal level, Indiana is no longer represented on the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee. Previously Evan Bayh had served on that committee during his 12 years in the Senate, and he was a reliable champion for banking interests.
On the House side, Indiana has been represented on the Financial Services Committee for many years by the late Rep. Julie Carson and now by her grandson, André Carson. Also for the past six years, Rep. Joe Donnelly has served as a member. However Donnelly will move over to the Senate next year, and it does not appear that he will have a seat on the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs committee. All four individuals mentioned at the federal level are Democrats.
Marlin Stutzman, a Republican from northern Indiana, was named last week to the House Financial Services Committee. The IBA worked with Congressman Stutzman for several years when he served in the Indiana House and then the Indiana Senate. We look forward to continuing to work with Marlin Stutzman and with André Carson as they deliberate important banking issues in the years to come.
Committee assignments are of great interest to the IBA Government Relations Team. Legislative committees wield considerable influence — they monitor ongoing governmental operations, identify issues for legislative review, and directly impact which bills make it to the House or Senate floors. We appreciate the efforts of our elected officials in fulfilling their assignments, and we will gladly be of service as needed.