INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers begin their 10-week "short session" at the Statehouse Wednesday, where debates over numerous hot issues could help Hoosiers forget the otherwise bone-chilling cold gripping the state.
If history is any guide, the 100 state representatives and 50 state senators are likely to file about 800 or so legislative proposals, most of which will be eliminated from consideration by the first week in February — the deadline for measures to pass their originating chamber.
"This session is fast. ... In the first half, some committees may have four hearings. Most committees will have three. Some may have two," House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis said. "There will just be a lot of bills that have to wait for another year."
That's because lawmakers generally are reluctant to spend new money in the middle of the state's two-year budget cycle, especially this year since state revenues between July and November 2017 came in 2.5 percent lower than expected compared to the spending plan enacted in April.
As a result, the General Assembly tends to focus in even-numbered years on more philosophical questions about individual rights, business interests and how Hoosiers should live.
There will be no shortage of proposals along those lines. Here's a look at some of the issues likely to dominate the 2018 legislative session: