A new state organization designed to better coordinate state services dealing with children is set to hold its first meeting next week. The Commission on Improving the Status of Children is bi-partisan and will be led by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush. August 13, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The newly formed Commission on Improving the Status of Children will hold its inaugural meeting on August 21, 2013. The multi-branch statewide Commission is aimed at improving the status of children in Indiana. In cooperation with other entities, members of the Commission will study issues concerning vulnerable youth, review and make recommendations concerning pending legislation, and promote information sharing and best practices.

Governor Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 125 into law on April 30, 2013. (The law is effective July 1, 2013.) For more information about the bill, visit http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2013&session=1&request=getBill&docno=125 .

“We are committed to improving the health, safety and well-being of Hoosier children, especially the most vulnerable,” said Governor Pence. “The Commission will promote greater coordination among agencies to ensure that effective services are available and accessible when the child needs them. I am confident in Justice Rush's leadership on behalf of Hoosier children, and I look forward to working with her further on these important issues.”

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta H. Rush is a Commission member and will serve as the 2013 Chair of the Commission. She is pleased to announce the full Commission:

-Director of Department of Child Services Mary Beth Bonaventura

-Republican member of the House Rebecca Kubacki

-Republican member of the Senate Travis Holdman

-Democratic member of the House Gail Riecken

-Democratic member of the Senate Tim Lanane

-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz

-Executive Director of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council David Powell

-Executive Director of Indiana Public Defender Council Larry Landis

-Secretary of Family and Social Services Administration Debra Minott

-State Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess II

-Director of Department of Correction Division of Youth Services Mike Dempsey

-Executive Director of Division of State Court Administration Lilia Judson

-Director of Division of Mental Health and Addiction Kevin Moore

-Chief Probation Officer, Henry County Probation Department, Susan Lightfoot

-Director of Indiana State Budget Agency Brian Bailey

-Senior Policy Director, Office of the Governor, Ryan Streeter

-Attorney General Gregory Zoeller

-Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush

Justice Rush believes there is great potential for this new state Commission to make needed improvements, “This unprecedented cross agency collaboration is vital. All three branches of government are coming together to realize overall systems improvements for Indiana's youth.”

This eighteen member Commission will meet on August 21, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Conference Room C at the Indiana Government Center South. Meetings are also tentatively scheduled for October 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Conference Rooms 1 & 2 and December 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Conference Rooms 1 & 2. The meetings are open to members of the public.

Source: The Indiana Supreme Court

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