For immediate release:
May 6, 2015
STATEHOUSE - Throughout the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly, State Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis) further illustrated her commitment to improving the lives of Hoosier veterans.
As a member of the House Veterans Affairs & Public Safety Committee, Macer leveraged her influence to advance bills helping our nation’s heroes secure employment, afford higher education and access their benefits.
Senate Enrolled Act 298 will allow private businesses in Indiana to give preference to military veterans when hiring new employees, which is the current standard for companies in the public sector.
“In some cases, Hoosier veterans have struggled to find jobs following their homecomings and completion of service contracts,” she noted. “After fighting to secure our freedom, these honorable men and women deserve every advantage during the transition back into the workforce.”
She co-sponsored Senate Enrolled Act 280, making it an option to designate military status on driver’s licenses and identification cards.
“There are a number of organizations and businesses throughout the state that offer military discounts and incentives, however, it isn’t always possible for someone to confirm their service,” Macer explained. “Our Hoosier heroes finally have a convenient way to take advantage of the benefits offered to them.”
Helping veterans and military members afford higher education was also on her agenda this session. Senate Enrolled Act 434 allows enlistees of the Indiana National Guard to maintain eligibility for Indiana resident tuition rates even if they move out of state. She says all other military branches already qualify for in-state tuition under these circumstances.
“I am disappointed that some of my other initiatives to help veterans didn’t make it to the final stage of the legislative process this year,” Macer said. “However, it’s gratifying that the Legislature was willing to take action to assist those bravely defending our country by doing more than just lip service.
“My mission as a state legislator is to continue assisting Indiana veterans and military families. In my opinion, protecting our most vulnerable citizens is the most important function of government,” she added.
Among those measures that did not pass in 2015 was House Bill 1078, which would have established a tax deduction for military income to keep dollars in our servicemembers’ pockets.
If House Bill 1344 had become law, Marion County—the only Indiana county lacking one—could have hired a county service officer. These officers provide outreach for veterans, connect them with services, and explain benefits to make sure they’re aware of all available resources.