STATEHOUSE—State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford) was named 2015 Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association (IVFA) at the organization’s annual state convention. Rep. Koch was recognized for his work during the 2015 legislative session and advocating on behalf of volunteer firefighters.
“Our state’s volunteer firefighters provide a valuable service, particularly in our rural areas,” said Rep. Koch.
Rep. Koch received the award for authoring House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1264. This legislation allows the executive or member of the fiscal body of a city, town or township to serve as a volunteer firefighter for a department that provides fire protection services to that area.
Under current law, executives or members of a local fiscal body are not allowed to serve as volunteer firefighter in the area they serve due to the potential conflict of interest when it comes to the budget. Rep. Koch’s legislation addresses this concern by requiring that volunteer firefighters who hold a public office abstain from voting on matters relating to the budget, rather than prohibiting them from holding office.
“State law should not discourage civic-minded people from volunteering and serving in public office or force them to choose between protecting their neighbors and being an elected official. I was pleased to be able to bring a common-sense solution to this issue,” said Rep. Koch.
The IVFA has 16,000 members statewide.
For more information about the IVFA, visit www.ivfa.org, or for more information about HEA 1264, visit iga.in.gov.
Rep. Koch served House District 65, which includes all or part of Brown, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties.