Members of the military and law enforcement officers diligently serve and protect our communities, state and nation. This session I supported legislation that will help these individuals receive benefits they have earned.
One new law will increase disability benefits for police officers and firefighters who are severely and permanently injured while on duty. Current law helps the families of officers who were killed in the line of duty, but not the families of those who were catastrophically hurt and can no longer work. Making the change to include severely injured officers in the benefits is a way to assist those who have made great sacrifices to protect Hoosiers. The legislation will also qualify the spouse or child of the injured officer or firefighter for free tuition at a state college, university or technical school. Providing this benefit to the officers’ children or spouses will allow them an opportunity that may not have been financially possible after the injury occurred. I believe it is important to take care of these officers and their families after a life-altering tragedy happens on the job.
Another new law increases the benefits to reserve police officers severely injured in the line of duty, helping these individuals get the care they deserve. Many reserve officers volunteer their free time to protect Hoosier communities while simultaneously working full-time jobs. Before, it wasn’t mandatory for reserve officers to be given compensation for loss of income if they were harmed on duty. Under this law, injured officers will be provided coverage for medical expenses and loss of income when they are unable to work. Reserve officers undergo training that prepares them to perform law enforcement duties and they complete these duties without pay. They should be compensated if they are seriously injured while guarding Hoosier safety, and this law will make that change.
Transitioning back to civilian life can be a daunting task for veterans, which is why I supported a new law making an effort to ease that burden and relieve some of the challenges they may face. This law will ensure that veterans and their spouses are placed in federal and state job training programs, helping them achieve meaningful employment and convert the skills they developed in the military to fit in the civilian job market. While Indiana already has the lowest unemployment rate for veterans in the nation, this change will continue to expand services for the men and women who have bravely served our country.
I wish you all a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. As always, I encourage you to contact me with any questions or comments at 317-232-9793 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can still sign up for my newsletter to receive regular updates by visiting www.in.gov/h74.
State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents House District 74,
which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.
A high-resolution photo of Arnold can be downloaded by clicking here.