STATEHOUSE — State Representative Denny Zent (R-Angola) joined Governor Mike Pence at the Air National Guard Base in Fort Wayne today for the ceremonial signing of legislation benefiting Hoosier veterans. Rep. Zent authored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1456 and cosponsored Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 298 which both went into effect on July 1.
“Indiana has a long tradition of supporting members of our military and has one of the largest veteran populations in the country,” said Rep. Zent. “As a dual veteran, I understand the challenges our servicemen and women face during deployment as well as those they encounter once they return home. These laws work to address those hurdles and ease the burden facing our veterans.”
When members of the Indiana National Guard or Reserves are called to active duty or on a deployment, this not only can affect their civilian obligations, but that of their families as well. HEA 1456 extends protections provided by the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to members of the Indiana National Guard. Those protections will allow them to temporarily postpone various civilian obligations, such as debt collections and lease terminations, while they are deployed or are serving on active duty orders.
The other piece of legislation ceremoniously signed by the governor was SEA 298. This law provides for a voluntary veterans' preference policy for hiring, promoting, or retaining a veteran in private employment. At present, Indiana’s veteran unemployment figures currently stand at a resounding 16.9 percent for post-9/11 veterans. This measure is designed to incentivize the hiring of veterans in civil service occupations following their military service.
“Our service members have a lot to offer our workforce and are taught many valuable skills, like how to communicate effectively and how to lead others, throughout their time in service,” said Rep. Zent. “In the interest of easing their transition into civilian life, SEA 298 allows for private sector employers to prioritize hiring our heroes.”
For more information about HEA 1456, SEA 298 and other legislation championed by Rep. Zent, visit iga.in.gov.
Rep. Zent (R-Angola) represents most of LaGrange and Steuben Counties.