Indiana lawmakers create study committee on child welfare

Indiana Statehouse

Legislative leaders announced Tuesday that they will convene a summer study committee to examine systemic challenges faced by Indiana's embattled child welfare agency.

Posted: May 16, 2018 2:31 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Legislative leaders announced Tuesday that they will convene a summer study committee to examine systemic challenges faced by Indiana's embattled child welfare agency.

The announcement comes as Democrats have repeatedly attacked majority Republicans for calling a one-day special session this week to complete some unfinished priorities — but doing nothing legislatively to address widely reported problems at the Department of Child Services.

Troubles at the agency will now be one of more than 50 different topics lawmakers will explore during the interim before the January start to the 2019 legislative session.

"Democrats have been suggesting legislative change without any specifics," said GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma. "We're trying to do ready-aim-fire rather than ready-fire-aim."

Legislative study committees often conduct in-depth research on vexing public policy problems. But it's not guaranteed that any recommendations they make will be taken up next year by the Legislature.

DCS has been under scrutiny since former Director Mary Beth Bonaventura resigned in a scathing letter last December, warning that agency service cuts will "all but ensure children will die."

Bosma said he doesn't believe the agency has any funding issues. But said he's open to exploring what to do about an antiquated computer system that monitors the receipt and disbursement of child support payments.

The DCS study committee will likely begin meeting after an outside group conducting an agency review releases a report sometime in June or July.

Other topics up for consideration this summer include an exploration of the pros and cons of medical marijuana, the possibility of creating a hate crimes law — which the vast majority of states already have.

They will also conduct further review on alcohol regulations and discuss the possibility of legalizing sports betting, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday that gives states the option to do so.

Bosma said having a sports betting study committee doesn't necessarily mean that the lawmakers think it's a good idea.

"We need to understand the impact on our state including the existing gaming industry and be prepared for discussion next session," he said.

He added that the Indianapolis-based NCAA, which has been a staunch opponent of legal sports betting, will likely play an "impactful role" during the discussion on the matter, but said all stakeholders will have an opportunity to express themselves in the study committee.

West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 93°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 91°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 86°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 86°
Williamsport
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Frankfort
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 87°
Delphi
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Monticello
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 87°
Logansport
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 93°
Hotter & More Humid with Some Storms, Then a Cool-Down
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 78632

Reported Deaths: 3113
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16437734
Lake7952283
Elkhart505191
Allen4161164
St. Joseph376683
Hamilton3033104
Vanderburgh212215
Hendricks1978109
Johnson1819119
Cass18139
Porter141539
Clark135250
Tippecanoe129312
Madison106266
LaPorte96730
Howard94865
Kosciusko87812
Bartholomew86747
Floyd86150
Marshall80523
Monroe78432
Vigo77913
Delaware77752
Dubois72912
Noble71729
Boone71646
Hancock70239
Warrick61230
Jackson6075
Shelby57328
LaGrange57110
Grant53330
Dearborn52828
Morgan50135
Henry46720
Clinton4624
Wayne41010
White38411
Montgomery36721
Harrison36524
Lawrence35927
Decatur35332
Putnam3318
Daviess29620
Scott28110
Miami2792
Jasper2662
Greene25934
Franklin25116
Gibson2464
DeKalb2444
Jennings23312
Ripley2218
Steuben2173
Carroll2135
Fayette2097
Perry18913
Orange18824
Posey1840
Starke1817
Wabash1805
Wells1802
Fulton1752
Jefferson1752
Knox1711
Sullivan1631
Whitley1626
Tipton15516
Washington1531
Clay1505
Spencer1403
Randolph1345
Huntington1303
Adams1242
Newton12110
Owen1131
Rush1004
Jay970
Pulaski841
Brown762
Fountain762
Pike670
Blackford662
Benton640
Ohio636
Vermillion620
Switzerland590
Parke581
Martin530
Crawford500
Union420
Warren251
Unassigned0207

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events