Bill benefitting veterans moves to governor's desk

Posted by: Kelly Sweeney  | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 8:00 am

STATEHOUSE--State Representative Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville) authored a bill that will make it easier for military veterans to vote and identify their veteran status. House Bill 1109, which addresses the veteran status on an individual's license, permit or identification card, was signed into law on Monday.Military identification for retired personnel does not contain an expiration date, which is required for voter identification. In most instances, the expiration date is listed as "INDEF" for indefinite.

HB 1109, which passed through the both the House and Senate unanimously, will allow retired personnel to use their military identification card to vote.

"Some veterans only carry their military identification card," said Rep. Gutwein. "This bill will give them the opportunity to take part in a democratic process they fought to protect."

Provisions in the bill also allow veterans to put their retired status on a new state-issued photo-identification card. Veterans will be able to show their status for veteran benefits, such as discounts offered at various retailers and restaurants, veteran housing programs, financial assistance benefits and education benefits.

"Veterans deserve recognition," said Rep. Gutwein. "For everything they did for us, a little convenience is the least we can do."

The law becomes effective on July 1, 2011.