The Chicago Tribune has a couple of AP stories on Indiana legislative study committees.
One committee will study whether Indiana should allow liquor sales on Sunday. (Answer: “Yes” — there, I just saved the taxpayers a bunch of money in legislative per diem payments.)
State Sen. Ron Alting says the Interim Study Committee on Alcoholic Beverages will meet Wednesday at the Statehouse to discuss both the Sunday ban on alcohol sales and the state’s ban on Election Day alcohol sales.
Another will center around the question of whether school starts too early. (Answer: “Yes” — I think the first day should be during the last week of August, roughly. My son has already been in school for 3.5 weeks.)
Sen. Dennis Kruse, a Republican from Auburn who heads the Senate Education Committee, wants people to take an online survey and offer comments on a new Web site: www.IndianaEducationForum.com.
The Health Finance Commission is studying H1N1. (My take away: “wash your hands.”) But, there’s more! You should also cover your mouth when you sneeze, stay away from sick people, and stay away from others if you’re sick.
Another one has apparently been studying the potential effects of a Chicago casino on the northwest Indiana gaming industry.
Would two Vegas-sized casinos some 20 miles apart mean curtains for the four smaller boats in the region?
“Until there’s something a little more concrete, I don’t know that anyone can make any particularly intelligent decision about how it could affect the casinos in Indiana,” Yelton said.
Indiana lawmakers aren’t waiting, though. A legislative study committee has been meeting to consider possible changes to Indiana gambling laws in the face of potential new competition from Ohio and Kentucky, as well as Illinois.
Lawmakers have good reasons to want to protect gambling in Indiana.
Gambling taxes are the third-largest component of Indiana’s annual state revenue, behind only sales and income taxes. Between 65 percent and 70 percent of gambling tax money comes from out-of-state players.
Casinos also are the state’s fifth-largest employer. Added together, they put more than 16,000 Hoosiers to work.