Indiana General Assembly Session Preview

by ekramer on January 4, 2010

Tomorrow is the first day of a ten-week legislative session for the Indiana General Assembly. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has this preview.

This session comes after a contentious regular session last year between Republicans and Democrats that led to a budget impasse and, later, a special session that cost about $150,000. It resulted in a budget.

But political drama isn’t likely this year, says Ed Feigenbaum, editor of Indiana Legislative Insight. He says the biggest concern among lawmakers is how to get in and out of this session without doing any real political damage.

“This is a short session. They’ve got the primaries coming up in May and a real tough general election in November,” he says. “And they’d like to get out without doing anything particularly controversial.”

Feigenbaum says legislators are considering several issues.

“They’re going to be trying to make themselves look good through the passage of legislative lobbying reform, some ethics changes for legislators and executive branch officials, and also a pay-to-play campaign finance reform provision,” he says.

Feigenbaum says they’ll also be deailing with property tax reform.

“They will address the property tax caps in the form of a potential constitutional amendment. They’re going to look at t a change to the unemployment insurance law that they just passed in 2009. They’re going to be looking at delaying that to provide some potential relief and potential job gains to big business.”

The session is scheduled to end on March 15th.

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