On Tuesday, the Indiana General Assembly convened at the Statehouse in preparation for the 2014 legislative session on what is known as Organization Day.

Though largely ceremonial, Organization Day gives legislators the opportunity to touch base before session officially begins in January.

As always, the General Assembly is sure to address a number of important topics in 2014.

Some notable issues include:

»Mitigating the effects of Obamacare to promote a fiscally responsible health-care system.

»Continuing to support our education system to build on Indiana's improving test scores and graduation rates, and prepare students for success in the 21st-century economy.

»Helping to streamline business regulations and encourage employer expansion.

If you have thoughts or suggestions for the upcoming legislative session, please contact me at 800-382-9467 or email me at Senator.Boots@iga.in.gov.

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Many Hoosiers are in the painful process of starting over after tornadoes ravaged homes and communities Nov. 18.

I'm sincerely thankful to the first responders and local officials for their quick response in helping residents affected by the storms.

Efforts to clean up and rebuild will be an ongoing process, but Hoosiers are resilient. I am confident our communities will come together during this tough time.

Here are some helpful resources to aid in recovery efforts:

»To report damage, fill out a form from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).

»To avoid getting scammed, make sure relief programs and contractors are legitimate before giving funds and assistance.

»For updated relief resources, check the IDHS website.