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By Danielle Faczan
A bill to end employment discrimination against veterans unanimously passed the House on Tuesday.
House Bill 1242 would make it illegal to refuse a person employment based on veteran status, either because they are a U.S. Armed Forces veteran, a member of the Indiana National Guard or of a reserve component.
Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, said the bill was personal because he has a friend who served on the frontlines in Iraq in 2003. While his friend was able to obtain a job eventually, he did experience some discrimination for being a veteran, Carbaugh said.
"A lot of companies are looking for veterans to hire, and rightfully so," Carbaugh said. "But there are some - and I don't know why, I can't figure it out - they are discriminating against our (veterans), against our reserves that are willing and able to serve us right now. I think that's wrong."
Rep. Karlee Macer, D-Indianapolis, one of the bill's co-authors, said she was "shocked and saddened" during her research into how many veterans have been discriminated against.
"These men and women fight for our freedom and it's ridiculous that anyone would not want them to be employed at their business or company," Macer said. "I want to thank all the veterans, men and women, who have done their jobs for us and I would like us to do our jobs for them."
Danielle Faczan is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.
And an update on another vet-related bill:
Veterans to receive employment preference under Senate bill
By Halie Solea
Veterans would be given preference when being considered for full-time employment under a bill passed Thursday in the Senate.
Currently veterans receive a 10 percent preference from local political subdivisions.
But Senate Bill 300, authored by Sen. Richard Young, D-Milltown, would increase that to 15 percent.
"The veteran service agencies have been working hard in the state of Indiana to heal and help our veterans with their unemployment problems," Young said. "The feeling was that encouraging businesses to give veterans preferences when hiring would help. By doing this we would be doing a little more."
The bill now moves to the House for consideration.
Halie Solea is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com.