What lawmakers do to work out of state

In Indiana, lawmakers are considered part-time employees, which most of the time means they have a second job. After all, the session only lasts about three or four months each year.

A legislator’s place of work can have an impact on the policies they write and how they vote on legislation, whether they acknowledge it or not.

Here are some of the most common occupations for current Indiana Statehouse lawmakers, according to IndyStar analysis based on legislators’ website biographies and economic disclosure forms when detailed biographical information was not available.

Business owners

At least 57 of the 150 lawmakers are business owners or have registered as president or CEO of a company, making running a company or business the most common job in the General Assembly from Indiana.

Businesses range from a funeral home, owned by Senator Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, to Perfect North Slopes, owned by Senator Chip Perfect, R-Lawrenceburg. Meanwhile, Senator David Niezgodski, D-South Bend, owns a plumbing business, Representative Dave Heine, R-Fort Wayne, owns a farm, and Representative Peggy Mayfield, R-Martinsville, owns an insurance agency.

Senator Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, left, greets Blake Doriot, R-Goshen, at the Indiana Senate on Organization Day at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, marking the start of the legislative session of 2021.

Others have a restaurant, rental company, or marina.

Business owners have scored crucial victories in the last legislative session, including the passage of two bills strengthening COVID-19 corporate liability protections and another making it harder for local health departments to impose COVID-19 restrictions on businesses if they were more stringent than state requirements.


25 other lawmakers consider themselves retired or not working. Of course, they still get money from their concert at Statehouse.

The average Indiana lawmaker was paid around $ 65,000 last year for his legislative work, according to an IndianStar analysis.

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At least 18 Indiana lawmakers are active lawyers, including Pro Tempore Senate President Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, and Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis.

Senate Majority Leader Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, greets other members of the Indiana Senate on Organization Day at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, marking the start of the legislative session of 2021.

Real estate

At least 23 lawmakers have jobs related to the real estate industry. Nine lawmakers work or own businesses that build or renovate residential or commercial properties, six lawmakers are real estate brokers or agents, and at least two more own rental real estate companies.

Others work for or own an air conditioning company, plumbing companies, title companies, surveying or counter business.

This number does not include attorneys whose law firms may work on real estate matters, such as Representative Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon.

Some ethics experts were concerned about the involvement of individuals from the construction industry in the legislative process last year. Elkhart Republican Representative Doug Miller, whose company builds homes, drafted a bill that would have banned community architecture design requirements, potentially saving him and others in his house. profession, thousands of dollars.

At the time, House Speaker Todd Huston R-Fishers said Miller was simply using his expertise, an argument common in Statehouse rooms due to the part-time nature of the legislature. This bill has never crossed the finish line.

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More unique professions

Working for insurance companies, agriculture or the financial sector are other more common jobs at the General Assembly.

Tim Wesco, Republican and member of the Indiana 21st District House of Representatives, on day one of the Indiana Legislative Session, Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis, Monday, January 6, 2020.

So which occupations are not common? Only one lawmaker is a K-12 teacher, Rep. Tonya Pfaff, D-Terre Haute, although there are other lawmakers in the education sector. Speaker Todd Huston is senior vice president of the College Board, a nonprofit organization that creates the SAT and AP exams.

A single legislator is still employed as a first responder, Representative Mitch Gore, D-Indianapolis. Meanwhile, Representative Tim Wesco, R-Osceola, is the sole pastor in the legislature and Representative Steve Davisson, R-Salem, is the sole pharmacist.

And then there are some of the more interesting jobs. Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton, sells straw and hay. Rep Ethan Manning, R-Logansport, is an auctioneer, which means he can speak in that well-known fast pace.

Call IndyStar reporter Kaitlin Lange at 317-432-9270. Follow her on Twitter: @kaitlin_lange.

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