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Legislature Returns Wednesday for 10-Week "Short Session" Sprint

Job training, opioids, alcohol at top of to-do list

INDIANAPOLIS - Legislators return to the statehouse Wednesday to begin the 2018 session.

With no budget to write, legislators have 'til mid-March to wrap up their work, instead of the end of April. But their first deadline is earlier than that: the House and Senate have a month to pass their own bills to even get them considered by the other chamber.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says legislators' top priorities are measures to reduce opioid addiction and streamline Indiana's job training programs.

But Hoosiers are likely to take the most interest in what changes legislators make to alcohol laws. Long says  the century-old ban on Sunday alcohol sales is "very likely" to be lifted. A study  committee has recommended that step. Long says the debate over who can sell beer cold will be more complicated.

The General Assembly will begin the session one short of the full roster of 150 legislators. The state Republican Party has yet to schedule a caucus to replace Buck Creek Senator Brandt Hershman, who resigned December 22. That resignation formally took effect Tuesday.

(Photo: Rudy Balasko/Thinkstock)

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