Introduced Version




Citations Affected: IC 10-17-14.

Synopsis: Returning soldiers' counseling benefit. Provides that certain members of the armed forces or the National Guard are entitled to receive up to $500 for the following types of counseling: (1) Mental health. (2) Marriage or family. (3) Financial. (4) Vocational. Establishes the returning soldiers' counseling fund. Makes an appropriation.

Effective: July 1, 2009.

Reske, Dembowski

    January 12, 2009, read first time and referred to Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety.


First Regular Session 116th General Assembly (2009)

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    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning public safety and to make an appropriation.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

     Chapter 14. Returning Soldiers' Counseling Fund
    Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "active duty" means full-time service in the:
        (1) armed forces; or
        (2) National Guard;
for a period that exceeds thirty (30) consecutive days.
    Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "armed forces" includes the active or reserve components of the following:
        (1) The United States Army.
        (2) The United States Navy.
        (3) The United States Marine Corps.
        (4) The United States Air Force.
        (5) The United States Coast Guard.
    Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "commission" refers to the

veterans' affairs commission established by IC 10-17-1-3.
    Sec. 4. As used in this chapter, "counseling fund" refers to the returning soldiers' counseling fund established by section 10
of this chapter.
     Sec. 5. As used in this chapter, "department" refers to the Indiana department of veterans' affairs established by IC 10-17-1-2.
     Sec. 6. As used in this chapter, "director" refers to the director of the department.
     Sec. 7. As used in this chapter, "National Guard" means:
        (1) the Indiana Army National Guard; or
        (2) the Indiana Air National Guard.

     Sec. 8. As used in this chapter, "qualified counseling" refers to:
        (1) mental health;
        (2) marriage or family;
        (3) financial; or
        (4) vocational;
counseling received by a qualified service member
     Sec. 9. As used in this chapter, "qualified service member" means an individual who is:
        (1) an Indiana resident;
        (2) a member of:
            (A) the armed forces; or
            (B) the National Guard;
        (3) serving on active duty;
            (A) after September 11, 2001; and
            (B) during a time of national conflict or war; and

         (4) stationed or deployed outside the United States during the twelve (12) months before applying for assistance as described in section 12 of this chapter.
     Sec. 10. (a) The returning soldiers' counseling fund is established to provide assistance for qualified counseling.
    (b) The commission shall administer the fund.
    (c) The commission shall expend money in the fund exclusively to provide assistance as described in section 12 of this chapter.
    Sec. 11. (a) The counseling fund consists of the following:
        (1) Appropriations made by the general assembly.
        (2) Interest as provided in subsection (b).
        (3) Money transferred to the fund from other funds.
        (4) Money from any other source authorized or appropriated for the fund.
    (b) The treasurer of state shall invest the money in the fund not

currently needed to meet the obligations of the fund in the same manner as other public money may be invested. Interest that accrues from these investments shall be deposited in the fund.
    (c) Money in the fund at the end of a state fiscal year does not revert to the state general fund or to any other fund.
    (d) There is annually appropriated to the commission from the state general fund all money necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
    Sec. 12. (a) Each qualified service member is entitled to receive up to five hundred dollars ($500) in assistance for qualified counseling.
    (b) For a qualified service member to receive assistance under this section, the qualified service member must submit an application to the department. The director shall prescribe the form of the application.
    (c) A qualified service member is eligible to receive assistance from the counseling fund for up to one (1) year after the earlier of the following:
        (1) The date the qualified service member's active duty service outside the United States described in section 9(4) of this chapter ends.
        (2) The date of the cessation of the national conflict or war with respect to which the qualified service member is eligible to receive assistance under section 9(3)(B) of this chapter.
    (d) The director may request from the qualified service member any information necessary to verify the qualified service member's application for assistance.
    Sec. 13. The commission may adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 for the provision of grants under this chapter. The rules adopted under this section must address the following:
        (1) Eligibility criteria.
        (2) Application procedures.
        (3) Other areas in which the department determines that rules are necessary to ensure the uniform administration of the assistance program under this chapter.