By Zoie Richey
This story is part of a series of Q&As with newly–elected members of the Indiana House and Senate. Some responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Meet Sen. Jack Sandlin
Occupation: Fraud Investigator for Jack Sandlin Associates
INDIANAPOLIS — Sen. Jack Sandlin, R-Indianapolis, may be a new face to the Indiana Senate, but he is a lifelong Hoosier with a background in law enforcement, fraud investigation and military service.
He and his wife Lydia have been married for 41 years and have one daughter.
Sandlin represents the 36th District and is currently on the Environmental Affairs, Homeland Security and Transportation, Public Policy and Veterans Affairs and The Military Committees.
TheStatehouseFile.com sat down with Sandlin and discussed his plans for his first legislative session and any challenges he might face as a freshman in the General Assembly.
Question: What sparked your interest in Indiana government?
Sen. Jack Sandlin and Sen. Jon Ford listen to a bill being read in the Senate. Photo by Zoie Richey, TheStatehouseFile.com
Answer: I had a township trustee ask me a lot of years ago about serving on a fire department merit board, and I did that, which led into filling a vacancy for township trustee. I did that for two terms and after I left, I kind of thought I was done. And then Rep. Mike Speedy who was on the city-county council got elected to the legislature and his seat came open. I talked to some of my friends in the community, and ran for city-county council. Then when Sen. Brent Waltz left, his seat came open and I thought the Senate would present new challenges and a lot of learning opportunities.
Q: What are your main goals this legislative session?
A: To learn as much as I can about infrastructure needs and funding.
Q: What are some challenges you might face during your first session?
A: Of course, I’ve spent six years on the Indianapolis City-County Council, so I’m not unfamiliar with the legislative process, but this is a lot different. Learning the processes, recognizing how to use the support mechanisms like Legislative Services Agency so I think just the learning environment, stepping into the office is one of the biggest challenges.
Q: What state and local issues are you passionate about?
A: I think that protecting those that are least able to take care of themselves, you know, when we talk about our senior citizens, our kids, people that become victimized by the human trafficking part. I mean, I spent a career in law enforcement serving and protecting, so I guess I’m still passionate about that.
Q: Is there a bill that you’ve authored that stands out to you?
A: I have a couple of bills that I’ve authored. I have one that just went through the committee that has to do with vacating a conviction for a person that’s been the victim of human trafficking. Right now, someone’s been victimized, has been arrested and convicted of human trafficking, we have an expungement that’s available to them. Under the bill that I’ve introduced, a court would hold a hearing and by preponderance of the evidence make a decision, and they actually could vacate the conviction, which would mean that it would be permanently removed from their records.
Zoie Richey is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.