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Indiana General Assembly Begins This Week

Indiana state lawmakers return to the Capitol this week for their four-month-long legislative session.Budget battles are expected to dominate the session that begins Wednesday.Lawmakers will craft Indiana's new two-year budget amid the tight finances of a recession that's already taken a toll on the state's economy and pocketbook.Governor Mitch Daniels already plans $767 million in cuts to the current budget that expires June 30, in hopes of keeping it balanced.Aside from the budget, lawmakers will also take on the task of fixing a broken unemployment insurance system and streamlining local government.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.