Three bills – Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 180, SEA 331 and House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1253 – championed by State Representative Denny Zent (R-Angola) were each ceremoniously signed into law this week.
SEA 180 requires the Indiana State Department of Health, in consultation with the Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, to study and report findings and recommendations concerning implementation of a program for the treatment of veterans who have traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).
“There is a nationwide epidemic of suicide among returning veterans who suffer from untreated TBI or PTSD,” said Rep. Zent. “Thousands of brave Hoosiers have laid their life on the line for our freedom. It is crucial that these men and women have the best medical treatment available when they return home.”
SEA 331 establishes the Second Service for Veterans Program to attract veteran students to the teaching profession. The legislation also requires state colleges and universities to award academic credit to veteran or active military students who have completed courses from accredited institutions or have completed college equivalency exams.
“As a veteran of both the U.S. Army and Air Force, I know how challenging it can be for people to return to civilian life after serving in the military,” said Rep. Zent. “I feel an obligation to help alleviate the burdens faced by American heroes who are transitioning to the next chapter of their life.”
HEA 1253 replaces the ‘Umbilical Cord Blood Donation Initiative’, a nonprofit established by the Family and Social Services Administration, with the ‘Postnatal Donation Initiative’ which will be run by the State Department of Health.
“Little progress was being made under the former arrangement,” said Rep. Zent. “As a healthcare provider, I am excited about this new initiative that will assist with ground-breaking research of leukemia, lymphoma and autoimmune diseases. I believe this program will be a step forward in advancing medical research.”