Senate GOP Leader David Long (R-Fort Wayne) didn’t wait long to anoint a new chair for the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Long named Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) to replace retiring lawmaker Luke Kenley as the Senate’s budget architect. Mishler has served for five years as the No. 2 senator on the Appropriations Committee.
Indiana Legislative Insight editor Ed Feigenbaum says the appointment of Mishler is a nod to geographic diversity – the last two committee chairs have come from the Indianapolis area.
“And it also sends a message to others within the caucus that there is a path to leadership through the ranks,” Feigenbaum says.
Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute President John Ketzenberger says Misher will learn on the job the next couple of years – which potentially shifts some power to the House, whose budget architect Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) has been in that position for years. But Ketzenberger says one of Mishler’s current roles, as Senate GOP caucus whip, will be a boost.
“In that role, he has to know what’s going on in the caucus. He has to know what the various members of that caucus are interested in, what they want,” Ketzenberger says. “And I think that’s important information for somebody who’s the head of Appropriations.”
Mishler will assume his new role after Kenley steps down this fall.