Indiana lawmakers returned to the Statehouse on Tuesday for the ceremonial start to the new legislative session.
The Indiana House and Senate both have their annual organization day meetings set for Tuesday. The 2019 legislative session is set to begin in early January and end by late April.
The Republican-dominated Legislature must draft a two-year budget to fund school districts, universities and state agencies such as the troubled Department of Child Services. That agency has struggled with a big increase in child welfare cases and high turnover among overworked case workers.
Legislators could also face a contentious debate over a push for a state hate crimes law. Indiana is one of just five states without one.