Tue January 7, 2014
Gay Marriage, Taxes Top Agenda for Indiana General Assembly
Indiana lawmakers have begun the 2014 General Assembly.
The House and Senate began work Tuesday afternoon, following a one-day delay because of the heavy snow and subzero temperatures that hit the state.
The weather still kept many lawmakers from getting to the Capitol. The House barely had enough members present to conduct business.
Republicans control both legislative chambers and two issues top the agenda for the lawmakers' 10-week meeting — the elimination of a property tax on business equipment and machinery and an effort to place the state's gay marriage ban in the constitution.
The first speech of the opening House session is traditionally delivered by the minority leader. Democrat Scott Pelath told colleagues that the majority of Indiana taxpayers are more interested in government functionality than ideology.
"Most are not sipping lattes in front of an MSNBC marathon. Most are not kicking the dog out of the leather chair for the Best of Sean Hannity special (on Fox News)," he said.
Republican Gov. Mike Pence will also be pushing education measures, including a proposal to expand vouchers to teachers and preschool-aged children.
Pence will deliver his State of the State address next Tuesday.