A northern Indiana state senator is resigning Aug. 12 after 11 years at the Statehouse to become chief deputy prosecutor for Pulaski County.
State Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, who served as chairman of three Senate committees during his tenure, said he feels it's time to pursue "a new public service opportunity" in the rural county about 50 miles southeast of Valparaiso.
"I have worked on a lot of different issues during my service, authoring more than 70 bills that became law," Head said. "It has truly been an honor to serve the people of Indiana."
Earlier this year, Head led the effort to boost criminal and civil penalties on motorists who drive past stopped school buses when children are boarding or departing, following an October crash in Fulton County that killed three children.
"We hope that a driver who gets caught, and is prosecuted and has to pay a stiffer fine or serve a greater penalty, is going to think about that more the rest of the time that they drive, and they're going to tell their friends and family about it, and we're going to publicize the issue," Head said prior to filing the proposal that became Senate Enrolled Act 2.
Head, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican attorney general nomination in 2016, also sponsored several Indiana laws that helped reduce methamphetamine and opioid abuse in the Hoosier State.
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Senate President Rod Bray, R-Martinsville, said Head's legacy goes far beyond the statutes he helped enact.
"His ability to articulate a concise, coherent message, combined with his work ethic and eye for detail, allowed him to positively impact many areas of the state's business," Bray said.
State Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, agreed that Head's departure "will be a huge loss for the Indiana legislative process."
Republican precinct committeemen in Senate District 18 will meet after Head's resignation takes effect to select a replacement senator for the one year remaining in Head's four-year term.
Head is the third Republican lawmaker, along with state Reps. David Frizzell, R-Indianapolis, and Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City, to resign since the April 24 adjournment of the Indiana General Assembly's annual session.