Bill helping Hoosier veterans heads to governor
STATEHOUSE (March 10, 2016) – A bill authored by State Rep. Peggy Mayfield (R-Martinsville) that will help National Guard members qualify for veteran-assistance programs could soon be state law.
House Bill 1313 establishes a definition for “Hoosier veteran” under Indiana Code referencing state programs for veterans. The federal definition of a veteran is a service member who has completed 180 days of continuous active duty service and did not receive a dishonorable discharge.
“Some veterans have served 179 days, come home for a week, then return to service,” Mayfield said. “They can do that for decades and never be considered a veteran. My bill will allow any Hoosier who has served in a reserve component of the armed forces or in the National Guard and completed the training be considered a veteran.”
Indiana is also home to the second-largest National Guard in the nation. Mayfield said some men and women serving in the guard have never been placed on active duty. Because of this, they are not considered veterans even though they are prepared for active duty.
Mayfield said this will help guard members receive the assistance of a local veteran service officer and qualify them for state programs, veterans employment preferences, veteran-owned business opportunities and any future legislation concerning veterans.
The bill passed unanimously through the House and the Senate and awaits a signature from the governor.
Rep. Mayfield (R-Martinsville) represents portions of Morgan and Monroe counties and is the Asst. Majority Floor Leader. She serves as a member of Ways and Means and Insurance committees