12/10/10 President Pro Tem David C. Long (R-Fort Wayne) today appointed State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) to serve as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

 Charbonneau said the committee examines the budget bill and the school funding formula, along with other legislation allocating state funds to numerous government agencies, departments and organizations on a biannual basis, in addition to other related issues.

 Long also named Charbonneau to the Senate Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures and reappointed him to the Senate Committee on Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services and the Senate Subcommittee on Provider Services.

 “Senator Charbonneau gained valuable experience in balancing budgets, creating jobs and making tough but fair decisions throughout his impressive career as a steel industry executive, president and chief executive officer of a hospital and president and chief executive officer of a four county economic development organization,” Long said. “He comes from the steel capital of America and is very familiar with environmental issues. It is rare to find someone with this combination of experience and knowledge as well as talent. We are very lucky to have Senator Ed Charbonneau serving the people of Indiana.” 

 Long said Senate leaders worked once again in bipartisan fashion to “combine lawmakers’ talents and passions” to help Indiana move forward on a variety of key issues, including passing a balanced budget, avoiding tax hikes, promoting economic development and job creation, improving education and developing a fair redistricting plan for legislative and congressional districts.

 Introduced legislation often impacts various policy matters of state government, Long said. However, he offered snapshots of the issues Charbonneau’s committees generally address each legislative session:

 Energy and Environmental Affairs: Considers bills relating to state energy and environmental policy, including conservation and renewable energy, regulation of air and water quality, land pollution, solid and hazardous waste, environmental law and other related issues.

 Health and Provider Services: Reviews bills relating to health care industry generally, including health insurance, health care licensure issues, regulation of the medical professions and other health care matters, mental health, pharmaceuticals, the aging and disabled, temporary assistance for needy families and welfare, Medicaid and social service issues.

 Rules and Legislative Procedures: Ensures the rules for conducting business within the Indiana Senate are clearly defined and available to all elected officials and members of the public. The committee establishes the standing committees of the Senate and reviews new language not previously passed by either chamber that has been inserted into a conference committee report.

 Lawmakers formally organized for the 2011 legislative session on Nov. 16.  They will reconvene on Jan. 5.  

Sen. Charbonneau represents Senate District 5, which includes Starke County and portions of Porter, LaPorte, Marshall, Jasper, Pulaski and St. Joseph counties.