By Logan Macaluso
This story is part of a series of Q&As with newly-elected members of the Indiana General Assembly.
Meet Sen. Eric Koch
INDIANAPOLIS – After serving 14 years in the House, Sen. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, plans to carry over the skills that he has developed during his time as a representative.
Koch, a private practice lawyer for 27 years, said he plans to answer to the peoples’ questions and concerns.
“My brand, if you will, I think if you ask my constituents, is a responsiveness and a conscientiousness to their needs,” Koch said. “Whether it is solving an issue with state government or simply listening to a concern. That, I think, should be the hallmark of any state legislature and certainly what I strive to do.”
Sens. Eddie Melton and Eric Koch are sworn into office as their families stand beside them. Ten new senators took office for the 2017 legislative session. Photo by Rachel Hoffmeyer, TheStatehouseFile.com
Question: What are your main goals as a state senator?
Answer: Over the years, I have developed a policy expertise in different areas: telecommunications, energy and court matters are some of the areas of my committee work at the House, including chairman as leadership in the House, and that will touch a lot of different issues. Those are some policy areas that have historically, over the last 15 years, helped shape Indiana law, and those will carry over here. My committee assignments in the Senate are similar to my committee assignments in the House, so specific policy work will carry over.
Q: What motivated you to run for office?
A: I’ve had desire to serve – a desire to shape Indiana’s future. I’ve been a lawyer in my private sector life for 27 years and have had the opportunity to see how Indiana law can work and not work so well. Probably, one of the things that motivated me to want to serve is actually seeing the application of law to real people and real life circumstances.
Q: What local issues are you most passionate about?
A: In my district, we have five very different economies, and they have local needs that arise. An effective legislature needs to have a real tight and open dialogue with their partners in local government. What I strive to do is work cooperatively with our partners in local government because so much of what we do impacts them.
File photo of Sen. Eric Koch. Photo by Lesley Weidenbener, TheStatehouseFile.com
Q: What bills have you authored?
A: [Senate Bill] 30 and SB 29 are the two bills that are currently in the Senate Education Committee. I presented SB 120 in the Judiciary Committee, and so those are already underway. Many of the bills I’ve authored deal with health care, and that is anticipation of the federal government repealing Obamacare, and I brought forth several free-market solutions to help more people have access to insurance.
We have SB 412 that deals with 529 plans, which are the education-saving plans that give more people access to five different provisions – particularly low and moderate income people to 529 plans. SB 299 deals with drones, and one of the policy areas I’ve worked on here is keeping the law up to the pace of technology. What SB 299 does is takes offenses like voyeurism, protective order violations, harassment and basically creates a new chapter about misusing drones for criminal purposes.
Logan Macaluso is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.