State Rep. Lawson to retire from Indiana House of Representatives
INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) today formally announced her retirement from the Indiana House of Representatives, where she has served since 1998.
Lawson will complete her current term as representative of the 1st Indiana House District (which covers most of Hammond and all of Whiting), but will not file for re-election.
“I have so many wonderful memories of the Indiana General Assembly and those who have served with me,” Lawson said. “In particular, I am proud of the work I did on the House Judiciary Committee, which I chaired for six years. The work that we [as a committee] put in was astounding.”
Although this may be Rep. Lawson’s final session, she is far from being finished with pushing legislation.
“This session marks the 20th year that I have authored a bill to provide wage equity in Indiana,” she said. “There is no excuse for Indiana to be lagging behind the rest of the country in this area. Families in general and single mothers in particular are harshly affected by not being paid equitably to their male counterparts.”
Lawson’s reputation as a trailblazer extends beyond her service in the Indiana House.
She was the first female police officer in the Hammond Police Department and worked her way up to the rank of captain by the time she retired.
In particular, her years as a patrol officer and with the sex crimes and domestic violence divisions helped shape her understanding and commitment to the victims of domestic violence and sex crimes. She used that knowledge and experience to become a legislative leader on those issues in the Indiana General Assembly. Her lifelong love of animals led her to author landmark bills to protect abused dogs and other animals.
The mother of two daughters and grandmother of a granddaughter, Lawson also has a strong commitment to public education. She served as a member of the Hammond School Board for 12 years before being elected to the House.
Lawson was elected as House Democratic Floor Leader in 2012. In addition to her time on the House Judiciary Committee, she has served on a variety of committees: Courts & Criminal Code, Education, Environmental Affairs, Family Affairs, and Labor.
Lawson also has been active in numerous community organizations, including Haven House, the Hammond Historical Society Board, the Robertsdale/Whiting Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, the Human Society of the Calumet Area, and the Boys & Girls Club.
After more than 40 years in public service, Rep. Lawson said she is looking forward to a new change in life.
“I have had many life transitions: From a child, to an adult, to a mother, to a police officer, to a school board member, to a representative. This is a new chapter in my life, and I am excited for another transition,” she said.