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Longtime Indiana legislator quitting in frustration

Sen. Karen Tallian of Ogden Dunes is resigning after 16 years in the Indiana state legislature after realizing what it's like to live a lifetime as anything other than a Democrat in Illinois.
Longtime Indiana legislator quitting in frustration
State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, signs her name at the Indiana Senate to legislation she sponsored during the 2020 General Assembly.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A longtime Democratic state senator from northwestern Indiana has decided to leave her seat in frustration over iron-fisted Republican control of the Legislature.

Sen. Karen Tallian of Ogden Dunes submitted a letter Thursday to Senate leaders that she would be resigning effective Nov. 1, about a year before her term ends.

Tallian was sharply critical of Senate Republicans, saying that "after 16 years I've had enough."

"The process has become degraded. Every bill is vetted, in secret, by the Republican caucus," Tallian told The (Northwest Indiana) Times. "So it becomes impossible to have real debate on the floor most of the time because they've already decided what gets to be heard and what won't."

Tallian has been a longtime advocate of legalizing marijuana, an issue that's been blocked from debate by Republicans who have a 39-11 Senate majority.

Tallian raised that issue as she spoke on the Senate floor Friday.

"Some time in the future, maybe near, maybe nearer than you think, Indiana will join the rest of the country and address the marijuana question," Tallian said. "And when you do, think of me."

Democratic precinct committee members in Tallian's district will select a new senator for the 2022 legislative session.