Macer to continue fighting for military veterans in 2016 legislative session

January 4, 2016 Karlee Macer

For immediate release:
Jan. 4, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Speedway) will continue to pursue an aggressive agenda on behalf of Hoosier veterans during the 2016 session of the General Assembly.

Macer has authored a bill, coauthored a second bill and will explore legislative approval for a third proposal to assist veterans.

House Bill 1057 focuses on improving the lives of homeless Indiana National Guard veterans who do not currently qualify for federal benefits. Members of this group were placed on active duty but did not meet the required length of military service to receive support from the federal government.

Macer’s bill would create an Indiana Per Diem Grant Fund to cover the costs of the group’s care. The funds for the program will come from the Military Family Relief Fund.

“Our goal is to ensure that Indiana has no more homeless veterans,” said Macer. “This bill is the appropriate action to take to make sure that all of our veterans are cared for properly.”

In addition to House Bill 1057, Macer will join forces with State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) on legislation that will improve the training and tools that County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO) use to assist veterans.

“Making an update to current training procedures will help us ensure that all information is consistent and reflects evolving procedures and systems,” said Macer. “By improving the CVSO training, we can guarantee that Indiana veterans are receiving the care that they need and deserve.”

Macer will also look into a plan to require that Marion County have a Veteran Service Officer. Marion County is the only county in Indiana without an officer available to assist veterans. CVSOs help veterans fill out disability forms and provide assistance with common issues.

“The 77,000 veterans in Marion County deserve a dedicated, full-time service officer,” said Macer. “This change will help fulfill a great need in Marion County.”

During her time as a lawmaker, Macer has proven her commitment to improving the lives of Indiana veterans, advocating for increased employment opportunities, benefits and higher education. Macer is the ranking democrat on the House Veterans Affairs & Public Safety Committee.

Macer has fought for veterans in the past, pushing for private businesses in Indiana to give hiring preference to military veterans, military status to be listed on driver’s licenses and identification cards, and honoring Purple Heart recipients with commemorative license plates. She has also worked on legislation to protect veterans from discrimination during the hiring process.

“There is room for improvement in Indiana when it comes to taking care of our veterans,” said Macer. “However, these changes cannot occur without the support of the people that I represent. Their input is invaluable as I work to improve the lives of veterans across Indiana.”