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Supporting our veterans

The Perry County News - 5/17/2017

State Sen. Erin Houchin

District 47

Our military service members sacrifice so much to ensure that the freedoms we enjoy each day are preserved and protected both at home and abroad.

Once these service members retire or are honorably discharged to pursue the next chapter of their career, many of them face challenges adapting back to civilian life. Unfortunately, some veterans also face obstacles from injuries they sustained while serving our country.

In recent years, the Indiana General Assembly has worked diligently to help ensure that our veterans receive the resources they need after serving.

This legislative session, I was proud to have supported several measures to allocate additional funding and provide career training for our veterans.

Indiana's balanced, two-year budget adds funding for a women's veteran service officer and six state veterans service officers to assist in connecting veterans to available federal and state resources. In addition, the budget includes $500,000 per year to help homeless veterans and $500,000 per year for a hyperbaric treatment pilot program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries. Various veterans service organizations also received $1.8 million to improve assistance for veterans seeking benefits.

The military service income tax deduction was also expanded from $5,000 to $6,250 for retired military members, and the 60-year age limit on claiming the retirement deduction was removed.

There are several other veterans' bills that have been signed into law including:

Senate Enrolled Act 307 which requires the Department of Workforce Development to give veterans and their spouses priority placement in any federal or state employment or training program.

Senate Enrolled Act 382 which allows the surviving spouse of a veteran to request that designation to appear on a driver's license or identification card.

House Enrolled Act 1394 which requires local governments to waive any business or professional license fees for veterans and their spouses.

I will continue to advocate for policies that ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve. If you have any thoughts or questions on these or other issues, please contact me by email at Senator.Houchin@iga.in.gov or by phone at (800) 382-9467.

 
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