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NGAI Alert#16-2; Hoosier Veteran; 23 January 2016

NGAI Members & Friends,

We are one step closer to recognition of thousands of current and former Indiana National Guard members and retirees as “Hoosier Veterans.” Representative Peggy Mayfield’s efforts have been most admirable in shepherding HB 1313 through the legislative minefield of the Indiana General Assembly.

Representative Randy Frye threw his full support behind the bill as Chairman of the House Public Safety and Veteran Affairs Committee and HB 1313 cleared the full House on 1 February by a 94-0 vote.

This morning, Senator Jim Banks, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and The Military, held the first reading of HB 1313. Representative Mayfield introduced her bill, then Senator Banks called for testimony. NGAI led the effort with representation by the Executive Director, Third House Advocacy and NGAI Retired Directors BG (Ret) Marge Washburn and Brig Gen (Ret) Jim Wilson to testify. The Senators on the Committee were amazed by the combined service history of the generals, yet lack of veteran recognition.

Other Veteran Service Organizations also testified on behalf of Hoosier Veterans to include The Military Veterans Coalition of Indiana, MOAA, AMVETS, DAV and the American Legion.

Senator Banks then called the Roll Call, with a 9-0 vote.

CALL TO ACTION
While the progress is positive, the battle is never over until the ink dries and Governor Pence signs the legislation. Please call or email your State Senators and thank them for their support for our military and veterans! Then ask them to specifically vote yes on HB 1313, Hoosier Veteran!

The second reading will be Thursday 25 February, with the third reading and final vote on Monday, 29 February.

If you do not have your senator’s contact information, use the link “Find your legislators” from www.NGAI.net/legislative-issues/ or http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/ .

Thank you for your continued support!

Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana