During the 2010 Session, Senate Democrats helped to author and usher a number of bills through the legislative process to ensure a better quality of life for those who work in public safety, the armed forces, or are veterans.
Public Safety Officials
Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 281 will allow local law enforcement agencies to use money from the agency’s Firearms Training Fund to purchase body armor. The law will make technical changes that allow law enforcement agencies to use existing funds to purchase life-saving equipment.
The bill was unanimously approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives. It was signed into law by the governor March 12 and becomes effective July 1, 2010.
Lawmakers also approved a number of bills that will affect various retirement benefit programs in the state of Indiana. SEA 172 and House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1050, are two pieces of legislation that allow for a member of the 1977 Police and Firefighters Pension and Disability Fund to designate one or more beneficiaries to receive the member’s contributions to the fund plus interest if the member dies without collecting benefits. This initiative will help those that have not collected benefits or designated a beneficiary like a child, spouse or parent. These bills also provide that if a member does not specify a beneficiary, the member’s contributions and accumulated interest will be refunded to the member’s estate.
SEA 172 was unanimously approved by the Senate and House of Representatives, and was signed into law by the governor on March 12 taking effect immediately. HEA 1050 was also approved unanimously in both chambers and became effective retroactively to July 1, 2009.
Also concerning the 1977 Police and Firefighters Pension and Disability Fund is HEA 1127. The bill allows a member of the fund to purchase service credit at cost for the member’s prior service in a position covered by a public retirement fund. HEA 1127 will provide equity in the system by allowing those who serve our state to consolidate their time of service under one retirement plan. The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate and the House of Representatives in its original form and was sent to the governor March 11 for final action. The bill becomes effective July 1, 2010.
HEA 1165 protects a veteran’s service-connected benefits from being seized through legal action to collect a debt. The bill will place what is already federal law into state statute. HEA 1165 was unanimously approved in the House of Representatives and the Senate and was signed into law by the governor March 12. It will become effective July 1, 2010
HEA 1178 requires face-to-face assessments, rather than phone interviews, to be conducted during a clinical interview with a trained health care provider for Indiana National Guard servicemen and women returning from deployment. The new law will become effective July 1, 2010.
Watch the video below to hear how Senate Democrats will work to support those who serve.