BioState Representative Shelli VanDenburgh is a lifelong resident of Indiana House District 19 and is the third generation of her family to call the district home. She currently resides in Crown Point with her husband, Tim, a steelworker; and her two children, R.J. and Bailey.
Shelli worked as the Director of Child Support for the Lake County Clerk's Office. During her 18 years in that division, she not only familiarized herself with the state child support laws, but also obtained knowledge of the state welfare system and the many issues that face both recipients and taxpayers. Furthermore, her understanding of the many different levels of government in Lake County drove her to run for Center Township Board in 2006—a position she won as the first Democrat and the first woman on the board.
In July 2007, she was appointed to the Indiana General Assembly. After her first legislative session with the General Assembly, it became clear that she would need to leave her full–time job in order to represent the people of House District 19 the way she felt they deserved. Shelli resigned from the Lake County Clerk’s office in May 2008.
The knowledge that she has obtained at three levels of Indiana government has proved to be a great asset in the General Assembly. During the last two years, Shelli has authored or co–authored very important pieces of legislation impacting House District 19, including-
Property Tax Billing- Authored & passed legislation that requires counties to issue provisional tax bills if the current year property tax bills are going to be late. Providing homeowners certainty in the tax collection process and save homeowners and local units of government money as they will not have to borrow dollars (paid back with interest) to pay for essential services when tax bills are late.
Domestic Violence- coauthored & passed legislation giving courts the authority to require a person charged with domestic violence to wear a GPS tracking device as a condition of bail.
Teen Dating Violence- coauthored & passed legislation requiring the Department of Education to develop model dating and violence education materials to assist schools with implementation of dating violence education programs for grades 6 through 12.
Adoption- coauthored & passed legislation strengthening Indiana’s adoption laws to clarify the rights of parties involved.
Local Ethics Reform- Authored legislation requiring each elected official at every level of government to be accountable.
Job Training & Economic Development- Authored & passed legislation allowing cities to use a portion of their redevelopment dollars to partner with other entities, in order to provide job training programs which will promote the global economy.
Financial Responsibility Curriculum- coauthored & passed legislation requiring schools to provide instruction in personal financial responsibility to students in grades 6 through 12.
Air Quality in Schools- coauthored & passed legislation requiring Indiana utility regulatory commission to establish an indoor air quality inspection, evaluation, and parent and employee notification program to assist schools in improving indoor air quality.
Lead in Children’s Products- Authored legislation prohibiting the use of certain toxic substances in toys and child care articles. Requires the department of health to administer a program for the prohibition of certain toxic substances in toys and child care articles and establishes civil penalties for violations.
High School Dropout Prevention- Authored legislation changing the legal drop out age from 16 years of age to 18 years of age.
Sex offenders- Authored legislation banning a sex or violent offender from social networking sites.
In addition to her legislative responsibilities, Shelli is an active member of the following organizations-
Lake County Democrat Women’s Caucus
POWER (the bipartisan Indiana General Assembly Women’s Caucus)
Indiana Federation of Business and Professional Women
Indiana State Director to Women in Government (a national organization of female legislators)