On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom has been threatened, and it is solely because of our brave men and women in uniform that it has never faltered.
The Fourth of July holiday may be over, but its symbolism is not. While it is all still fresh in our minds, I would like to share with you a couple new laws that are now in effect, which aim to make life a little easier for our veterans who have already sacrificed so much.
This session, we passed legislation making it illegal for an employer to use discriminatory hiring practices again Hoosier veterans. It may seem hard to believe that any employer would discriminate against our nation’s heroes but, unfortunately, it does happen.
Veterans of all ages are oftentimes susceptible to discrimination due to their experiences during their time of service to our country. National Guardsmen also find themselves in similar situations, as employers are reluctant to hire an individual who may face potential deployment. Many of these individuals also have families who depend on them, which only adds to the normal stress of searching for a job.
By adding veterans to the anti-discrimination statute, we can help fight Indiana’s 16.2 percent veteran unemployment rate and work to ensure that our Hoosier veterans are never subject to discriminatory hiring practices.
In addition, we passed legislation this session creating the Second Service for Veterans Program, a program which aims to attract veteran students to the teaching profession. This not only benefits veterans that need to return to work, but also our children, who will be taught by noble men and women with invaluable leadership skills.