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Expect A Short, Tumultuous Legislative Session

The General Assembly returns Tuesday and legislators will have just 10 weeks to complete their work, in a session expected to be dominated by the debate over granting civil rights protections to gays and lesbians.

They'll also debate injecting more money into road projects, and shielding teacher salaries from a drop in ISTEP scores caused by changes to the test. The test itself could come under scrutiny. A proposal to replace ISTEP with a shorter test passed the Senate last year, and continued reports of testing glitches have sparked further discontent.

Legislators have already announced competing proposals for further restricting access to cold remedies containing pseudoephedrine.

Governor Mike Pence hasn't rolled out a formal legislative agenda, and has yet to announce a position in the civil rights debate.

Pence has offered a billion-dollar road proposal, and requested an additional $42-million for the Regional Cities Initiative.

He's also endorsed several proposals aimed at curbing drug abuse.

Senate Republicans have already introduced a local road funding plan, which Pence has endorsed, and their version of a civil rights bill. They'll unveil the rest of their agenda Tuesday, hours before the Senate convenes.

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