STATEHOUSE— State Representative Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville), chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs and Public Safety Committee, authored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1116 and HEA 1065 during the 2012 legislative session. Governor Daniels signed both pieces of legislation into law on March 14.
HEA 1116 requires state educational institutions to award educational credit to members of the military who are enrolled in a state educational institution and successfully complete specified courses that are related to their military duties while serving in the armed forces.
“Soldiers face a great deal of pressure, so it’s important we help them out in any way possible. One thing we can do is help assure they’re getting the educational credits that they’ve worked hard for and rightfully deserve,” said Rep. Borders. “It’s great to see this legislation signed into law by the governor. This shows our military families that we appreciate what they’re doing for us and we are working to provide beneficial options to help not only them but their families too.”
Furthermore, this legislation requires the Commission for Higher Education to adopt rules that establish uniform guidelines for state educational institutions to follow when implementing the requirements. This legislation will also work to provide that Indiana’s occupational or professional licensure boards can issue a license, certificate, registration or permit to a military service applicant or military spouse who meets certain requirements.
“So many of our military men and women have received on-the-job training and earned professional experience during their tour of duty,” said Rep Borders. “Having these types of credentials should make it easier to shift that experience to a state-issued license, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case in the past.”
HEA 1065 allows a parent who has received military deployment orders to delegate their parenting time to a person who has a close relationship with their child if the court determines that it is in the child’s best interest.
“I’m glad to see this pro-family legislation signed by the governor,” said Rep. Borders. “Before, if someone went through a divorce and then got deployed, there’ve been difficulties in assigning visitation rights to another appropriate family member. Now, that this legislation is law it’ll help alleviate this issue and comfort the minds of our soldiers while they’re away.”
HEA 1065 allows a parent who has received military temporary duty, deployment or mobilization orders to hold an expedited hearing in determining or modifying custody or parenting time. If the military duties of a parent have a material effect on the parent’s ability to appear in person, they may present testimony and evidence by electronic means.
“I put a major emphasis this past session on drafting bills to help our U.S. servicemen and women and their families,” said Rep. Borders. “Seeing these bills work their way through the process and finally be signed by the governor has been great. I’m confident they will make a positive impact in our soldiers’ lives.”