Issues To Be Addressed In Short Legislative Session (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose - 21Alive

December 9, 2013 Updated Dec 10, 2013 at 10:16 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- It will be crunch time for the state legislature starting next month, as the two chambers race to accomplish as much as possible during their short session.

State Senate President Pro Tem David Long gave us some insight into the agenda he may set.

Speaking at the downtown Rotary luncheon, Long says issues like deciding educational standards, ongoing discussions about a Medicaid expansion, and criminal sentencing revisions will be discussed during the short session.

As for passing a measure to allow the voters to decide whether to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage, he says he's sure it's going to be addressed, but he wants to see how the state senators and representatives feel about it.

But he's clear that workforce development and education will remain top priorities.

“I think we made some major strides last year and kind of cutting edge, almost nationally cutting edge on trying to put business and schools together to develop a curriculum that helps kids come out with some skills and talents that really make them ready to go into the workforce for certain careers. Also you could translate that right into Ivy Tech for two more years and get certifications for more jobs that are going wanting right now for lack of talent,” Long says.

State Superintendent of Education Glenda Ritz has been pretty vocal about new programs that did not come from her department, and has been bickering with Governor Pence about it.

But Senator Long says the two sides have been talking, and he hopes the legislature won't have to intervene.

This short session of the legislature begins January sixth, and by law, ends March fourteenth.

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