One of the state’s most influential lawmakers has announced plans to retire. State Senator Luke Kenley (R-20) says he will step down September 30. He has represented the Hamilton County district since 1992 and is known as a fiscal leader, leading the effort in building multiple balanced budgets for the state. He was also a driving force behind legislation to eliminate the state’s inventory and inheritance taxes.
Governor Eric Holcomb says Kenley has been "an essential state budget architect for years and years" and says he is confident "he will continue to contribute to our state’s success in countless ways" after leaving the Statehouse.
In addition to his work on budgets and taxes, Kenley sponsored the 2005 legislation that led to the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. He also helped reform Indiana’s Community Transition Program, which helps offenders successfully reenter society after incarceration. More than 25,000 people have participated in that program since 1999.
"It’s been my privilege to serve the people of Senate District 20 at the Statehouse for the last 25 years," Kenley said. "I’ve been honored to join with so many outstanding legislators as we have worked to move Indiana forward. During my final session, we achieved two major goals – passing another strong balanced budget and developing a long-term road funding plan for Indiana. It’s now time for others to have the opportunity to serve Hamilton County and our great state."
The Hamilton County native helped grow his family’s grocery business from 20 to 200 employees. He graduated from Miami University in Ohio before enlisting in the United States Army. He also served 15 years as a Noblesville city court judge. He was elected in 1992 to represent Senate District 20. It includes parts of Hamilton County, and previously included parts of Grant, Howard, Madison and Tipton counties.
Governor Eric Holcomb released the following statement about Holcomb’s announcement:
Few understand the intricacies of Indiana’s finances like Luke Kenley. He has been an essential state-budget architect for years and years, and he is widely respected for both his expertise and his no-nonsense approach to lawmaking. Even though he is moving on to the next chapter in his life, many will continue to seek his counsel—including me. So, even though he won’t be in the Senate Chamber come January, and he’ll have a little more time to spend at his ranch in Texas, he will continue to contribute to our state’s success in countless ways.