By Alexa Freeman
This story is a part of a question and answer series with newly-elected members of the Indiana General Assembly. Some responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Meet Rep. Karen Engleman
Occupation: State representative
INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown, has always been interested in government and plans to focus on the education of our future leaders.
“We need to make sure they are well educated,” Engleman said.
Engleman serves on the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Local Government Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction.
TheStatehouseFile.com sat down with Engleman to talk about her goals for her first legislation and the local and state issues she is passionate about.
Question: What are your main goals for your first legislation?
Rep. Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown, plans to ensure education is well funded and Indiana maintains a balanced budget. Her five children and 12 grandchildren, influence her passion for issues involving family and education. Photo by Alexa Freeman, TheStatehouseFile.com
Answer: Well, I just want to make sure that we maintain a balanced state budget. I was county auditor and I realized the importance of that and to retain our AAA credit rating, because that not only helps the state, that helps the local units. Because like schools that do bond issues, and counties and town cities, all of them that have to get a bond issue. They are helped by having a AAA credit rating in the state. That’s important.
We need to make sure that our teachers receive enough pay, that education is well funded because students are our future leaders and we need to make sure they are well educated. And we need to work on a good testing system that actually measures what they’re taught. And because if we are testing on one thing and teaching on another, it sets them up for not doing well. We need to work on that.
We are going to have to do something about all the drug abuse. It ruins families. It causes people to commit crimes. Kids get caught in it by either having parents that don’t take care of them or manufacture drugs with them in the house. I mean that is just a bad situation. I don’t have the answers but I sure would like to get together with the legislators and try to work on something to help with that.
Q: What motivated you to run for office?
A: I’ve been county auditor. I served 3 and half terms. I was county chairman of the Republican Party in Harrison County, and I always had an interest in government. So when Rep. [Rhonda] Rhoads decided not to run, she came and asked me if I would consider running. I think my government, my local government background, will help me here.
Q: What local and state issues are you passionate about?
A: Probably education, anything that involves families. I don’t want to have too much government, but it needs to be effective.
Alexa Freeman is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.