STATEHOUSE (March 22, 2016) – Gov. Mike Pence today signed into law two pieces of legislation, co-authored by State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth), which will help better serve and honor veterans across Indiana.
House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1089 will require the Indiana Veteran’s Commission to submit an annual report to the governor and legislature about the welfare of Hoosier veterans. The new law decentralizes assistance for veterans by allowing city mayors to hire a veteran service officer. Already working on the county level, service officers conduct community outreach and assist local veterans, particularly those navigating the application process for benefits. Additionally, HEA 1089 will request a study committee on the potential work and effectiveness of regional veteran service officers.
“These local officers can engage the community and raise awareness of the programs and resources available to veterans and military families,” Arnold said. “The law will also hold our veterans’ services more accountable so we can better help those who dedicated their lives to serving our country.”
Pence also signed HEA 1187, which makes “stolen valor” in certain circumstances illegal. Under the law, if an individual fraudulently claims to be an active service military member or veteran in order to receive money, property or other benefits that another person or business confers upon genuine active members or veterans, they would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
“Selfishly taking advantage of veterans by pretending to be someone you are not is inexcusable and we should not tolerate it in Indiana,” Arnold said.
Both HEA 1089 and 1187 will take effect July 1, 2016.
Rep. Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.