Indiana's lawmakers have assembled for the 118th General Assembly.

They will be engaged in important business over the next four months. First on their agenda is adopting a biennial budget.

Here is our challenge to you. How willing are you to become engaged in the dialogue?

More than ever in 2013, that message must be reaffirmed. There are Republican super majorities in both the House and Senate, and the governor's office is also held by a Republican. While voters chose this course in the fall 2012 elections, it's important for those with this unrestricted political power to understand and act in a way that ensures that all voices are being heard.

The only way to do that is for citizens, no matter what party philosophy they prefer or how they come down on issues, to stay in touch with their legislators and let them know they expect them to be fair to all sides and to serve the interests of the entire state.

Indiana House of Representative members representing parts of Jefferson County are Jim Lucas, District 69; Terry Goodin, District 66, and Randy Frye, District 67.

In the state Senate, Jim Smith represents the 45th District which includes Jefferson County.

Our lawmakers face important issues - economic development, job creation, education and a host of others. Where you stand on these issues can only be gauged if you speak out and let your lawmakers know your opinions.

If everyone remains constructive and civil, Indiana can be an example of what's right in the public sphere rather than emulating the broken system we see in Washington, D.C.

Individual citizens need not be intimidated. It's easy to contact legislators. We encourage you to do so. Here's how:

• Members of the Indiana House of Representatives can be reached by phone at 1-800-382-9842.

• Members of the Indiana Senate can be reached at 1-800-382-9467.

• The mailing address for representatives and senators is 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.

• If you have online access, there is a wealth of information, including email addresses, about the General Assembly and related services at At this site you will be able to send emails to any legislator you wish.

Lawmakers work for you. Don't be shy about letting them know your opinions.