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Sports Betting, Medical Marijuana Among Study Topics for Legislature

8-person committee will draft first-ever sexual harassment policy for lawmakers

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A day after a one-day special session, legislators have ordered a study of the pros and cons of legalizing sports betting in Indiana.

Sports betting was a last-minute add to a roster of 52 topics for legislative study committees, after Monday's Supreme Court ruling removing a legal barrier. House Speaker Brian Bosma says he's "not necessarily a fan" of the idea, but says it's clearly going to be a subject of discussion in next year's legislature, and deserves the close examination a summer study can provide. 

The NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis, and Bosma says the organization's longstanding opposition to gambling on its games will have a significant impact on the discussion. The NCAA was the defendant in the lawsuit which led to the court ruling striking down a federal ban on sports wagering. Legislators have instructed the committee to examine the fiscal impact of legalized betting, and its effect on both college and pro sports. And Bosma says the committee may examine the more subjective question of whether legalizing sportsbooks would constitute an expansion of gambling.

Study committees will also look at issues including hate crimes, medical marijuana. ways to revive Gary's economy, the opioid epidemic, and the Department of Child Services. And four women legislators will join the four caucus leaders to draft a sexual harassment policy for the General Assembly. There's no such policy now, though the topic is covered by legislative ethics rules.

Legislative leaders expect to meet in early July to discuss an independent review of DCS before passing the issue to a study committee.

An alcohol study committee established last year will meet for a second year.

L to R: House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne), incoming President Pro Tem Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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