FROM THE DESK OF SENATOR LONG

Since 1801, the Indiana National Guard has served our state in countless wars, battles and statewide disasters. In fact, Indiana Guard members have served in every American war since the Civil War. Today, members of the Indiana Guard are serving overseas in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and several other countries.

Because of the important work of these men and women, members of the Indiana General Assembly have authored several measures to protect the Guard and their families. Senate Bill 478 establishes the National Guard Trust Fund by using a special drawing on Veteran’s Day from the Indiana Lottery. The money in the trust fund can be used to provide special death benefits for guard members who are killed in the line of duty. The money may also be used to upgrade safety and other equipment of the Indiana Guard.

House Bill 1023 is a measure that extends the eligibility period for the National Guard tuition supplement program. Currently, any Guard member may receive tuition supplements if they meet certain eligibility requirements given by both the Indiana National Guard and any state educational institution. HB 1023 extends the eligibility period to the time an individual served in active duty.

There also have been proposals written that provide benefits to children and spouses of Guard members. SB 304 exempts spouses and children of Guard members who are killed in the line of duty from paying tuition at any state educational institution. This bill was authored to help support those dependents and spouses who endure financial difficulties after losing a loved one in active duty.

These bills are moving rapidly through the General Assembly. For more information on these and other measures, please visit www.in.gov/legislative.

The Waynedale News Staff

Sen. David Long

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