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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 1:00 am

General Assembly

Big final day for lawmakers

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Lawmakers enter their last day of session today with more than 50 bills hanging in the balance and a midnight deadline.

“It's going to be a busy day. We know that,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne.

The Senate adjourned Tuesday by 4 p.m. without having voted on a single conference committee report. Conference committee reports are the final negotiated versions of bills that had conflicts between House and Senate versions.

The House worked a bit later Tuesday night and approved about a dozen bills.

But the major topics of the session remain – guns, school safety, workforce development, CBD oil and more.

“There's only a handful of truly important issues left,” House Speaker Brian Bosma said. “A lot of the stuff that is less critical, fortunately there's another legislative session next year. Once we get our agenda items done, there's not a lot of reason to stay here.”

Major sticking points:

• Lawmakers appear fine with legalizing CBD – a cannabis derivative that helps pain without a high – for all Hoosiers. But discussions remain on whether it can be manufactured here and what labeling is required.

• A provision allowing those who attend churches that share property with a school to carry firearms on the property is accepted by both chambers. But the Senate has a problem with eliminating the lifetime carry permit because it will cost the state millions in revenue.

• Legislators are finalizing several school safety measures, including providing additional funding for the Indiana Department of Education to audit all school safety plans and $5 million for additional school safety grants.

nkelly@jg.net