New laws for Hoosier veterans
The General Assembly worked hard last session to create legislation that will benefit Hoosier veterans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans in Indiana rests at an unacceptable 20 percent. These brave men and women have fought for our freedom and put their lives on the line for our country – we must do better. Key pieces of legislation were passed with bipartisan support this year in an effort to create more high quality jobs for veterans.
Some of the bills help to open up paths for easier employment in areas of work that are directly transferrable from military service, such as House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1486. HEA 1486 works to place veterans with the necessary skills to be emergency medical technicians, a profession that is in high demand. The bill will waive the application fee to the Emergency Medical Services Commission if a veteran has already met the requirements. Giving this access to veterans, many of which are veterans of the medical field, will allow the state to fill critical job availabilities and get Hoosiers back to work.
Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 564 is another new law that will give veteran-owned small business a preference on state contracts. This legislation creates a major opportunity to address a high number of unemployed veterans by giving these businesses more opportunities to work with the state.
A piece of legislation that will help keep veterans who are seeking higher education from leaving Indiana is SEA 177. This law will help incentivize veterans to go to school and work in Indiana. Too often veterans have a difficult time finding employment when they reenter civilian life. SEA 177 aims to ensure that the veterans who are coming to Indiana for higher education are more likely to build their lives in the Hoosier state by having residency requirements that could encourage these veterans to live and work in Indiana after graduation. The “brain drain” is a major issue facing our community as college grads head to other states, and this is a small step that works to remedy it.
In the House, we will continue to find ways to recognize the sacrifice Hoosier veterans have made for our country, and support them as they build their own American Dream. Through legislation like HEA 1486, SEA 564 and SEA 177, Indiana will expand its growing economic climate to benefit Hoosier heroes. Veterans will continue to be leaders in Indiana communities through their example and now even more through their entrepreneurial spirit.
Rep. McNamara (R-Mount Vernon) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties. Rep. McNamara also serves as Vice Chair of Courts and Criminal Code Committee, the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee, Judiciary Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction.