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Long hears own bill

The Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee got a rare workout Tuesday -- hearing a bill.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, chairs the committee and assigned a bill he is sponsoring for a hearing.

House Bill 1002 sets up a statewide career council to gauge worker skills.

The usual procedure is to send bills to a legislative committee where members have built up a subject-matter expertise, such as the Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

The rules committee generally is used for maneuvers such as stripping a bill's language and inserting wholly new provisions. Mostly, though, it is the killing field for bad legislation -- sent there by leadership never to be given a hearing or have a vote.

Long was so out of practice he moved right past testimony on the bill to a vote -- until House Speaker Brian Bosma reminded him people had signed up.

"It's not my committee," he said sheepishly.

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.

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