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Senate GOP Wants To Expand Military Relief Fund

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. A

This session, Senate Republicans are proposing a plan to expand the Military Family Relief Fund to include combat veterans who served before 9-11.

Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) says all veterans who've seen combat should be eligible for the program. He says that 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 a balance of about $1.5 million. But that might not cover an increase in demand. To cover that, Sen.Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) 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," says Hershman.

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

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