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Indiana legislative leaders temper expectations of major action in 2024 session

Greg Taylor and Rodric Bray sit at a table and laugh. Taylor is a Black man, bald and wearing glasses and a suit. Bray is a White man with dark, graying hair and wearing a suit.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) talk during a panel discussion hosted by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023.

Indiana legislative leaders are tempering expectations for the upcoming session of the General Assembly, eyeing small changes to existing policies as their session priorities.

Both Republicans and Democrats mentioned reading proficiency, truancy and health care costs as areas of focus for the 2024 session.

And House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) noted that last session featured significant legislation on many of those issues.

“We need to allow things to be able to be implemented,” Huston said. “Maybe fine tune some things.”

READ MORE: Perception of bipartisanship in Indiana legislature often doesn't match reality

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Democrats want to push further, particularly on issues like child care. And Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) continued to advocate for cannabis legalization, especially as three of four surrounding states now have legalization in some form.

“If we don’t, we’re going to find ourselves behind the eight ball and the other states are gonna — I think I read something that Indiana’s on a contact high now,” Taylor said.

Republican leaders said cannabis legalization in 2024 is unlikely.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.