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COLUMN: Honoring veterans, helping teachers

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By LLOYD ARNOLD
District 74 State Representative

Two of the most revered and influential groups are Hoosier veterans and teachers. Both, in different ways, ensure continued prosperity.

I feel honored to have met so many in representing our community. These professions are held by some of the best and most noble Hoosiers, and I have diligently worked this session to introduce legislation that supports them.

House Concurrent Resolution 6, which I authored, designates the Honor and Remembrance Flag as the symbol honoring all of the fallen brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces and the families of those who mourn them. I was very happy to see the tremendous support given to HCR 6 in its passage through the House.

I had the privilege of authoring this resolution with coauthors Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis), Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis) and Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis).

I have the utmost respect for our country’s servicemen and women who put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we so dearly covet. The selfless sacrifice that our fallen veterans have made for our country needs further recognition, which is why I am proud to present this resolution.

I am proposing that the Honor and Remembrance Flag be flown over all public buildings throughout the state, signifying our appreciation and respect for our fallen heroes.

As indicated of the bipartisan support, this is not a political issue; it is an issue that can unify our state and Hoosiers’ love for their countrymen. If you would like to learn more about the Honor and Remember cause, please check out their Web site at www.honorandremember. org.

Another legislative item that I am focusing on is HB 1443, which focuses on loan repayments for public elementary or high-school teachers. Coauthoring the bill with me are Reps. Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis), Shelli Vandenburgh (D-Crown Point) and Todd Huston (R-Fisher).

After a teacher has taught three consecutive years, the teacher can receive a payment of $9,000 from the Commission of Higher Education toward the balance of the teacher’s student loans or to the bank that holds the teacher’s student loans, whichever is less. In order for a teacher to receive an educational loan repayment, they must meet three requirements:

1. Have been in the highest 20 percent of their high-school graduating classes or in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT examination

2. Graduate from college with at least a 3.5 grade point average

3. Teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, special education, or in a critical shortage geographic area; in a public school in Indiana.

We want to continue to reward Hoosier teachers for their hard work and contributions in the classroom and this bill will help do that.

I am confident that these pieces of legislation will continue to move through the legislative process, and I look forward to speaking on them. If you would like to watch live video of session, go to http://www.in.gov/legislative/2441.htm and click on House Chamber.

Also, summer hiring has begun for Holiday World and French Lick, so if you are looking for a summer job, make sure to get your application in.

Arnold represents Perry County in the Indiana House of Representatives.