Current Issues Hoosier Veterans Face
The American Legion, Department of Indiana legislative team and representatives work closely with our Indiana General Assembly to help shape bills and support legislation that we believe will improve the lives of our Hoosier veterans.
The Indiana Legion also partners with three of the other largest Congressionally chartered Veterans Service Organizations in the state, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and American Veterans, respectively.
This helps our voice be heard at the Indiana General Assembly and shows solidarity on the issues among all the organizations.
See below for our current Legislative Agenda.
2019 Indiana Legislative Agenda
- Directed use of Lottery gaming proceeds for county veteran service officer (CVSO) salaries. Require the state to adopt rules and direct lottery tax proceeds be used for funding county veterans service officers salary. Currently every county is required to have an accredited CVSO. This requirement means a CVSO must work at least 1000 hours a year. All counties shall be funded for this. Additionally, require counties with veteran population exceeding 5,000 to add an additional half staff (20 hours a week work) CVSO for each 2,500 additional veterans in that county. The funding actions should be via block grants to the counties.
- 21st Century Veterans Support. Require County Veteran Service Officers, City Veteran Service Officers, District Veteran Service Officers to be initially accredited by the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers
- Fix the eligibility criteria to the Military Family Relief Fund. All Reserve and National Guard who have served at least 365 days of cumulative service (active, Reserve or Guard or any combination of same). All Active Duty service members who have Indiana as their state of residence when entering the service AND retaining Indiana as a state are eligible; and have served for 365 days of cumulative service. All Hoosier Veterans who are residence of Indiana (residency being determined as living in Indiana for at least 365 days and having served a cumulative of at least 365 days and have discharge documents identifying their character of service at anything other than dishonorable). A person from another state who has served in the armed forces of the United States of America becomes a Hoosier Veteran when they reside of Indiana for at least 365 days and having served in the armed forces of the United States Of America a cumulative of at least 365 days (not only active duty but active, Guard, and Reserve) and have discharge documents identifying their character of service at anything other than dishonorable). Additionally, eliminate the requirement of serving in time of conflict or war.Increase State Income tax exempt status for all military income, current or retired.
- Veteran Higher Education Assistance Matters. Limit duration of tuition remission to undergraduate degree programs separately from any other tuition remission programs. Provide children of all service connected disabled veterans full remission of fees at any State supported post secondary school or university in the State of Indiana.
- Reserve Higher Education Assistance Matters. Create a Reserve Tuition Supplement Program to include Indiana Reservists like the National Guard has. Tuition Supplement Program should focus on STEM and education degrees.
- Exemption for Surviving Spouse of Service Member killed in Action. Dies While On Active Duty, or receives Dependency Income Compensation (DIC).
- Property Tax Exemption at 100% rate for veterans who are classified as individually unemployable. Provide a Property Tax Exemption at 100% rate for veterans who are classified as individually unemployable by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs regardless of their service connected disability rating.
- Admission of nonresident pupils; active military duty. Not withstanding any other law, a pupil complies with the residency requirements for school attendance in a school district if the parent of the pupil is transferred to or is pending transfer to a military installation within this state or stationed at a location directed by the Department of Defense while on active military duty pursuant to an official military order.
- Sustain in-state resident status until enrollment. If that member of the Armed Forces of the United States, whose dependent natural or adopted child, stepchild, or spouse is in attendance at an institution, (1) is thereafter transferred on military orders to a place outside this state where the member continues to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States, or (2) is thereafter retired as an active member of the Armed Forces of the United States, the student dependent shall not lose his or her resident classification so long as he or she remains continuously enrolled at that institution.
- Prescription Drug Cost Affordability Act. Requires companies to give 60 days’ advance notice before raising the price of a drug, and to allow prescription drugs to be imported from Canada. Also, caps co-payments of the lifesaving medication at $100 a month for insured patients, regardless of the supply they require.
- The Honor and Remember Flag Act. Requires state and local government to fly the Honor and Remember Flag during the month of May.
The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
This Act, passed on September 25th, will honor the Legion for its 100 years of service by directing the U.S. Mint to issue a variety of special limited edition commemorative coins available for purchase during 2019. Congress only authorizes two coins per year. That kind of support for the legislation, which was signed into law Oct. 6 by President Donald Trump, is proof of the respect members of Congress have for the Legion.