Gov. Mike Pence Tuesday signed more than a dozen bills he says will expand benefits and opportunities for Indiana’s military servicemembers and veterans.
Former Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Martin Umbarger was one of more than two dozen people gathered around the governor as he signed 13 bills into law.
Umbarger says he’s particularly pleased with one that expands the Military Family Relief Fund. That program was originally created to help post-9/11 veterans pay food, housing, utility, transportation and medical bills.
Umbarger says the legislation extends that help to all veterans.
“It isn’t a fund that’s set to sustain you if you’re unemployed or things,” Umbarger says. “It’s just to give you a shot in the arm, if you will, to kind of help you through whatever adversity that have.”
Another bill eliminates the maximum age requirement for veterans seeking to join police or fire departments. Pence says the legislation would not apply the current limit of 36 years old to those who’ve served in the military.
“If you’ve worn a uniform of the armed forces, we want to see more and more of you wearing a uniform back here at home,” Pence says.
Other bills include a measure to expand Medicaid to active-duty National Guard members and legislation to expand property tax deductions for disabled vets.