Influential senator, health advocate Miller to retire

Sen. Patricia Miller, an influential Republican on state health issues who has represented the southeast portion of the Indianapolis area for 34 years, announced Wednesday morning that she plans to retire from the Indiana Legislature at the end of her current term later this year.

Patricia miller mugSen. Patricia Miller

“I’m deeply grateful to the constituents of Marion and Johnson counties for giving me the opportunity to represent them,” Miller said in a prepared statement. “Though this decision has not been easy to make, I look forward to being able to spend more time with my family, including my husband who retired four years ago, and our grandchildren, who are growing up quickly.”

Miller, 79, has represented Senate District 32 since 1983. The district currently includes southeast Marion County and previously included portions of Johnson County. Prior to joining the Senate, she was a one-term member of the Indiana House of Representatives.

Miller has served as chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services since 1993, exerting considerable influence over health care legislation. She sponsored legislation in 2007 creating the Healthy Indiana Plan, which since has grown into a program serving more than 350,000 Hoosiers.

She also was a leader on legislative efforts in 2008 and 2010 to establish cooling-off periods for former lawmakers before becoming lobbyists.

“For more than 30 years, Pat Miller has been a pillar of the Senate Republican Caucus,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long in a prepared statement. “Her capable, yet compassionate leadership of the Senate Health Committee has benefited our state in countless ways.”

In 2009, she authored legislation creating Indiana’s Silver Alert program, providing safety measures for adults who have gone missing and might be in danger of personal harm.

Miller also authored laws requiring criminal background checks for health-care professionals, promoting suicide prevention programs in schools, and improving the state’s adoption process.

Miller's current term ends in November.

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