State Representative Sheila Klinker was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1982 to represent Indiana House District 27 (serving parts of both Lafayette and West Lafayette).
A proud Boilermaker, Representative Klinker received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Purdue University. She is a former teacher in the Lafayette School Corporation and worked as the Outreach Liaison for the Purdue School of Education.
Early on in her legislative career, Representative Klinker was appointed to the Legislative Interim Study Commission on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. She has worked tirelessly towards advocating for the rights of children and families, as well as individuals who are mentally ill or developmentally challenged.
As a leader on the House Ways and Means Committee, Representative Klinker is a tenacious advocate for funding home and community based services for people with mental illness.
The list of legislative initiatives by Representative Klinker to improve Hoosier lives is long. She has pushed legislation to all levels of education, prenatal substance abuse initiatives, First Steps, guardianship issues, veterans’ issues, protection and advocacy issues, as well as most recently authoring legislation to create Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs) for low-income working adults pursuing education or job training.
Awards presented to Representative Klinker in the past include: The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arc of Indiana, the Indiana Residential Facilities Association’s Legislative Efforts Recognition Award, Indiana Advocates for Children (GAL-CASA) Outstanding Services Award; Woman of Distinction Award from the Sycamore Girl Scout Council; Salute to Women in Politics Award; Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Special Recognition Award; Indiana Association for Counseling and Development’s Legislative Service Recognition Award; and the Disabled American Veterans’ Legislator of the Year.
Representative Klinker lives in Lafayette with her husband, Victor. They have three children.