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2018 Session Could Be ‘Free-For-All’ Without Central Focus

The Indiana Statehouse

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPB News

The 2018 legislative session gets underway Jan. 3.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says the upcoming legislative session lacks what he calls “one, overarching, bright, shiny object” that will draw the focus of most lawmakers.

Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says most sessions revolve around a central issue – Right to Work in 2012, an income tax cut in 2013, road funding in 2017. And he says that’s not the case for 2018.

“150 legislators have 150 ideas, times five or 10, as to what public policy should be, so yeah there’ll be a lot of discussion on a lot of items,” Bosma says.

Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics director Andrew Downs says that creates the potential for what he calls a “free-for-all,” where many lawmakers will see an opening for their individual issues – including alcohol, guns, and abortion.

“The issue is, can you get enough people behind your legislation to get it done? That’s where the problem lies, because everyone will now think, ‘Oh, I can get mine through, I can get mine through, I can get mine through,’” Downs says.

The 2018 session is a short one, scheduled to end in mid-March.

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