On Monday, all of us at the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus were pleased to witness the fifth annual Indiana Military and Veterans Legislative Day here at the Statehouse. State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend), co-hosted the event and shared his own testimony.

“Though I am not personally a veteran of any armed service, my father served in the 82nd Airborne,” Sen. Niezgodski said. “He taught me how important service is to our country, in all of its forms. By his example, I also learned how fundamental our veteran Hoosiers are to this state.”

This event provided a unique opportunity to recognize and award distinguished veterans within different communities. It also allowed veterans and legislators to convene to discuss issues that face our veterans and their families.

Indiana Senate Democrats are actively taking steps to alleviate some of these issues.

Senate Bill (SB) 374, authored by State Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond), is an initiative aimed to assist the children of veterans. Current laws allow colleges and universities to dictate the cumulative grade point average (GPA) that the children of veterans need to qualify for tuition exemptions. We believe our service men and women deserve better. SB 374 would regulate eligibility for students to receive such benefits by requiring a minimum GPA of 2.0 out of a 4.0 scale. This would ensure that these students are not being denied the financial assistance they need to further their education.

SB 302, authored by State Senator Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago), proposes an annual percent increase for property tax exemptions for disabled veterans. This effort would lessen the financial strain on qualified disabled veterans, who have served our country with grace and honor.

To all Hoosier veterans, thank you for your service, and we are doing everything within our power to ensure all your voices are heard.