The 120th Indiana General Assembly will reconvene Wednesday at the Indiana Statehouse and begin the 10-week, 2018 legislative session. Several key positions from previous years have changed on both sides of the aisle, including the Senate Majority Floor Leader, House Minority Leader and Senate Appropriations Chair. Bills already proposed in the Senate include Sunday carryout alcohol sales and cold beer sales, redistricting, raising the minimum wage and a "real world" career readiness program.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, WIBC/Network Indiana Statehouse Bureau Chief Eric Berman said he expects key issues to involve workforce development, alcohol regulations and measures relating to the state’s opioid epidemic.
Just before Christmas, longtime senator Brant Hershman (R-7) announced his resignation to take a job in Washington D.C. In addition to serving as Senate Majority Floor Leader, he was also chairman of the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. Last month, Indiana House Democrats selected Terry Goodin (D-66) as the House Minority Leader, succeeding Scott Pelath (D-9), who is leaving the Statehouse at the end of his current term. Rodric Bray (R-37) has been named Senator Majority Floor Leader and Travis Holdman (R-19) has replaced Hershman Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee chairman. Victoria Spartz was selected by precinct committee members in the 20th District to replace Luke Kenley, who retired after a 26-year run in the Senate. Ninth District Senator Ryan Mischler will take over as Senate Appropriations Chair, a position previously held by Kenley.
Key dates for the legislative session include:
- January 5 – Senate deadline for filing bills
- January 9 – House deadline for filing bills
- January 12 – Last day Senate bills may be assigned to committees
- February 5 – Last day for 3rd reading of House bills in House
- February 6 – Last day for 3rd reading of Senate bills in Senate
- March 5 – Last day for 3rd reading of Senate bills in House
- March 6 – Last day for 3rd reading of House bills in the Senate
- March 14 – Last day for adjournment
The House and Senate are slated to each gavel in at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.