INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's lawmakers are meeting to prepare for a jam-packed 2013 session that will begin in earnest in January.
The 25 state senators who won their races earlier this month took the oath of office Tuesday afternoon. The Senate later picked Fort Wayne Republican David Long to serve again as President Pro Tem. The House of Representatives opened its ceremonial first day a few minutes later.
Lawmakers plan to break after Tuesday until January 7, when they will begin work on the state budget, implementation of the federal health care law and a host of other issues.
Much of the preparation for next year has already been happening with little fanfare. The State Budget Committee is holding hearings with state agencies and vetting their spending requests.