Indiana lawmakers have lofty goals for quick 10-week session

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers returned to the Statehouse Wednesday in what will be a quick 10-week session with lofty goals and promises to address a wide array of issues ranging from jobs to the state’s drug crisis, CBD oil, gun permits and Sunday alcohol sales.

One group looking to play a prominent role in forming policy greeted lawmakers with their message to legalize medical marijuana.

“I will not stop until Indiana becomes a medical cannabis sate,” State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) told the crowd, who has introduced legislation.

In a potential sign of movement, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) indicated Wednesday afternoon he would be at least willing to study the issue, while maintaining his opposition hasn’t changed.

“I think we need to take a look at the effects,” he said. “And I support a study.”

READ: What to watch for this legislative session 

In his inaugural floor speech as House Minority Leader, State Rep. Terry Goodin (D-Austin) called for legislative hearings into the Department of Child Services after the agency’s former director resigned last month.

“This cannot stand,” he said. “It is time to take politics out of the system and let DCS workers do their jobs they way they were trained.”

In her resignation letter, Mary Beth Bonaventura said the agency’s funding was putting children at risk. Since then Gov. Eric Holcomb has ordered an outside assessment of the agency, which begins in earnest this week.

“I’ve called for an investigation to try to find out what needs to be done,” Goodin said. “Maybe we need more money. Maybe we don’t. But without us studying it, we don’t know what it is.”

Bosma said Wednesday he anticipates the results of the outside review will be made public and lawmakers will have time to question the organization conducting the analysis before making any sweeping legislative changes.