IN lawmakers manage expectations ahead of 2024 session

Lawmakers have introduced about 130 bills for the Indiana Legislative session which starts Monday and must adjourn by March 14. (Adobe Stock)

Lawmakers return to the Indiana Statehouse next week to gavel in the 2024 legislative session. Leadership from both sides of the aisle are downplaying expectations following last year's blockbuster session when the Legislature passed a near-total abortion ban, measures restricting students' preferred pronouns and expanding school vouchers.

John Krull, publisher of, which covers news from Indiana's Capitol, said the state is now more than 20 years into education reform and arguments have shifted from accountability to parental entitlement.

"School choice movement, the charter schools, are coming under the kind of scrutiny that public schools used to," he said, "and people are legitimately asking, 'What are we getting for the money we're spending?' I mean, in many ways, we now fund two public-education systems in Indiana."

Krull said taxpayers want more details on their return for state education spending. Lawmakers from both parties agree improving literacy is a top priority. The Department of Education reports more than 96% of students who recently failed a required reading test were advanced to fourth grade because of exemptions currently allowed under state law.

Lawmakers aren't making budget decisions during the upcoming "short" session. Krull said he thinks it will be interesting to see just how long the assembly stays in Indianapolis because of Indiana's heavily contested Republican gubernatorial primary, along with half of the state's senators and all its representatives on the 2024 ballot.

"If a lot of the legislators are facing primary challenges at home, they're going to want to get back, they're going to want to get out of session early and get back," he said. "And if it ends early, you're going to be able to see just how concerned they are."

Term limits prevent Gov. Eric Holcomb from running again. The lame-duck Republican will announce his legislative and administrative priorities Monday morning as lawmakers settle into their seats and are gaveled into session.

By Joe Ulery, Producer