By State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper)
When the Indiana General Assembly is not in session, lawmakers participate in interim study committees to learn more about topics impacting Hoosiers and to prepare for the upcoming session.
This year, one of the committees I have been assigned to serve on is the Interim Study Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.
The committee is studying three very newsworthy topics: the economic impact of artificial intelligence, consumer data privacy, and the effects of potential legalization of cannabis on our workforce and teens.
In recent years, the use of artificial intelligence technology has grown significantly. Our study committee will look to identify any risks and challenges artificial intelligence may pose to Hoosiers, while also considering its benefit to economic development.
Regarding consumer data privacy, the Indiana General Assembly has already taken action by passing Senate Enrolled Act 5 during the 2023 session. This law creates a bill of rights for Hoosiers to monitor how their data is being used and to be able to delete it.
While Senate Enrolled Act 5 was an important step in improving data privacy, work still needs to be done to protect Hoosiers' data. Our study committee will continue to look for ways to keep our data safe.
Cannabis laws continue to be a topic of discussion around the country as more states legalize its use. Nevertheless, concerns remain about potential negative consequences from legalization.
That is why it is important for Indiana to consider ways to protect our young people and mitigate potential negative effects on our workforce as we contemplate any legal form of cannabis.
The committee's first meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2.
Livestreams of committee meetings can be found on iga.in.gov.
As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.