INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Legislators are returning to the Indiana Statehouse to begin this year's General Assembly session.
Members of both the Indiana House and Senate will meet on Wednesday to formally start the session that must end by mid-March.
The Republican-dominated Legislature could face contentious debates over issues such as ending Indiana's longtime ban on Sunday carryout alcohol sales and repealing the state law requiring licenses to carry handguns in public.
Conservative social activists have already attacked Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma for not taking up a constitutionally questionable bill that aims to ban abortions by defining human life as beginning when a human egg is fertilized by a sperm.
Democrats are pushing for a state hate crimes law and an independent commission for drawing congressional and legislative election districts.