In a historic first for the Indiana General Assembly, Amanda Banks was sworn in Tuesday as the newest state Senator, replacing her husband while he’s serving in the Navy.
Naval officer and Columbia City Republican Jim Banks found out earlier this year he would be deployed to Afghanistan for about seven months, meaning he will miss the entire 2015 legislative session. But rather than resign, Banks opted for a little-used provision in Indiana law, allowing him to take a temporary leave of absence.
GOP precinct committeemen earlier this month chose Jim’s wife Amanda to take his place. Amanda Banks, a former public policy expert, was sworn in Tuesday at the Statehouse. She says she looks forward to bringing a unique perspective.
“You know, I’m a full-time mom, I’m a military wife, and I think those perspectives will bring a fresh view to the Statehouse, to this body,” she said.
Banks says she and her husband are both conservatives, sharing mostly the same views. And she says while she gets to talk to him every day, she notes that if they differ, her focus as a lawmaker will be on doing what’s right for her district.
“He will be asleep when we’re in session, so there’s going to be no dialing him while voting is going on," she said.
Banks will serve on all the committees her husband served on and says she did not file any bills.