Dillon looks at issues for lawmakers' short session

Indiana state lawmakers returned to the Statehouse on Tuesday, Nov. 17, to organize for next year's legislative session.

Because the state passes budgets in odd numbered years, 2010 is known as a "short session" and will adjourn by law no later than March 14.

However, State Sen. Gary Dillon (R-Columbia City) says next year's short session may be long on major issues.

"Hoosier jobs and the economy are on everyone's mind as we prepare for session," Dillon says. "With declining tax revenues, lawmakers will avoid considering bills that would add additional cost to state government. In addition, lawmakers will be on the lookout for concepts that cut costs, streamline government and deliver better service to taxpayers."

Historically, short sessions have been viewed as less active legislatively than longer budget sessions, Dillon says, but adds that lawmakers are already writing and introducing what onlookers would consider "major legislation on major issues."

Talk around the capital focused on eight topics, Dillon says, but he predicts that other issues will surface as lawmakers hear more from constituents. Those issues include alcohol sales, education, ethics enhancements, gaming, government reform, property taxes, redistricting and unemployment insurance.

Dillon encourages area citizens to stay in contact with him throughout the 2010 session which convenes Jan. 5. He may be reached via the Internet at Senator.Dillon@iga.in.gov, by toll-free call at 800-382-9467 or by mail at Sen. Gary Dillon, Indiana State Senate, 200 West Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.