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Halfway Through Legislative Session, Senate Returns to Full Strength

Lebanon's Buchanan was picked last month to fill vacancy left by Hershman resignation

(INDIANAPOLIS) - For the first time all year, the General Assembly is at full strength.

Former Boone County Councilman Brian Buchanan was elected by a Republican caucus at the end of January -- too late to file any bills. The Senate further delayed his swearing-in till the session's midpoint. 

Buchanan's been hanging around the statehouse the last couple of weeks getting a feel for the new job while awaiting the official start of his term. He says he's looking forward to helping to address job training and the state's opioid epidemic.

The Lebanon Republican says he has "big shoes to fill" in replacing former Tax and Fiscal Policy Chairman Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), who resigned in December to take a job in Washington. But he says the state's on a strong financial and economic development footing, and says he'll be looking for ways to enhance that position.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) had announced before the caucus that the winner would serve on the Agriculture, Commerce, and Local Government Committees. Buchanan says those assignments end up matching his areas of interest, with a family background that includes farming, and his ownership of a trucking company in addition to his service in county government.

Sen. Brian Buchanan (R-Lebanon, left) takes the oath of office from Chief Justice Loretta Rush. (Photo: Indiana Senate Republicans)

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