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Senate GOP Proposing Expanding Military Family Relief Fund

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Senate Republicans are proposing expanding the Military Family Relief Fund to include combat veterans who served before 9-11. 

The General Assembly created Indiana’s Military Family Relief Fund in 2006 to help post-9-11 combat veterans and their immediate families who are struggling financially. The fund subsidizes food, housing, utility, transportation and medical bills.  And this session, Columbia City Republican Senator Jim Banks wants to expand it to cover all veterans who’ve seen combat – which he says will particularly help Vietnam vets.

“The veterans who often deserve and need the most help," says Banks. "They’re all mostly senior citizens at this point.”

The fund currently has about a one-point-five million dollar balance.  But this might not cover an increase in demand. To cover that, Buck Creek Republican Senator Brandt Hershman says proposed legislation would add a new feature to Hoosiers’ tax forms.

“This would allow a new provision in which you could donate portions of your tax refund to go to support Hoosier veterans and the Military Family Relief Fund," he says.

The program is now primarily funded through military license plate fees, including the Support Our Troops plate.  

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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