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Merritt leaving Indiana State Senate

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — State Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) has announced he will retire from the Senate in November.

Merritt was first elected to serve in the Senate’s 31st district in 1990 and is the current longest-serving Republican state senator and longest-serving Caucus Chairman in the history of the General Assembly. He also ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Indianapolis in 2019.

“Serving the people of Indiana for the past 30 years has been the greatest honor of my life,” Merritt said. “I’m incredibly thankful to the people of Marion and Hamilton counties who have placed their trust in me and given me the chance to work on so many critical issues for our region and state. It’s hard to step down from a role that I am so grateful to serve in, but I look forward to the opportunity to serve in new capacities in the years ahead.” 

Merritt has authored and sponsored several types of legislation over the years, including helping establish the “Kids First” license plate where all proceeds go to programs to prevent child abuse. Merritt helped create Indiana’s Lifeline Law in 2011 after meeting with college student body presidents to help inebriated minors without fear of prosecution. He also was involved in “Aaron’s Law” after the heroin overdose death of a neighbor. The law allows Hoosiers to purchase a prescription for Naloxone if they believe someone is at risk of an opioid overdose. 

Merritt plans to resign on Nov. 4 but says he’s looking forward to staying active in the community.