Rep. Koch Boosts Volunteerism, Protects Seniors
Legislation Would Improve and Expand VAS/VAIA Programs
STATEHOUSE-The development and operation of Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Volunteer Advocates for Incapacitated Adults Programs across the state would be improved and expanded by legislation co-authored by State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford). The General Assembly enacted the legislation to create the VAS/VAIA Programs in 2004 and 2006, and appropriated the start-up funding for them in the 2007 and 2009 state budgets. Rep. Koch co-authored the enabling legislation for Volunteer Advocates for Seniors in 2004 (House Bill 1178) and in 2006 was the House Sponsor of the enabling legislation for Volunteer Advocates for Incapacitated Adults (Senate Bill 33).
"These programs, using trained volunteers, provide a court-appointed advocate for those seniors or incapacitated adults who have no one in their lives to help them," said Rep. Koch. "Our legislation will build upon the experiences of the pilot programs as more courts throughout the state utilize these services."
At the present time, eight pilot programs across the state are being developed to provide no-cost/low-cost adult guardianship services in Allen, Elkhart, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Tippecanoe, and Vanderburgh counties. House Bill 1169 amends the program statutes based upon what has been learned from the pilot programs by:
Rep. Koch serves House District 65, which includes parts of Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, and Lawrence counties, and is Assistant Republican Caucus Chairman. He serves on the House Judiciary Committee and is the Ranking Member of the House Courts & Criminal Code Committee.
[For additional comments concerning one of the existing pilot programs: The Honorable Andrea McCord, Judge of the Lawrence Circuit Court, 812-275-2421; Chris Meadows, Director of the Lawrence County Guardianship Services Program, 812-275-4130.]