CARMEL, IN – If elected, the Republican candidate for Governor would set a goal of procuring 3 percent of Indiana’s business contracts from veteran-owned businesses, Mike Pence announced today. He also would pursue accreditation for the state’s veterans affairs agency and expand educational scholarships for children of service men and women.
Pence unveiled his ideas for putting Hoosier veterans back to work and ensuring that they have access to their full federal benefits in a speech at the 94th Annual American Legion Convention in Indianapolis today.
Pence noted that Indiana is the 15th largest state by population, but has the fourth largest National Guard in America and the 16th highest number of veterans in the nation.
“Hoosiers go above and beyond in answering the call of duty,” said Pence. “We must honor their sacrifices by helping them return successfully to civilian life and by providing them with easy access to all available benefits.”
If elected, Pence will issue an executive order to set a 3 percent goal for state contracts to be filled by veteran-owned businesses. In the first six months of 2011 the state spent $1.18 billion on contracts. If 3 percent of that total was awarded to veteran-owned businesses, it would have pumped more than $35 million into those businesses.
While Indiana has a very high number of veterans, most of them are not getting the federal benefits they have earned. Indiana ranks 23rd in total federal veterans expenditures and is 46th in total federal expenditures per veteran.
Pence would strive to have the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs earn full accreditation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Accreditation would help county veterans service officers better help veterans access the full range of federal benefits that are available.
“Indiana is one of only three states that lacks full accreditation for its veterans affairs agency,” said Pence. “Full accreditation along with improved training for veterans service officers will help Hoosier veterans get the benefits they deserve.”
Pence also announced an initiative, at no cost to taxpayers, to help veterans by eliminating income restrictions on opportunity scholarships which let them send their children to a school of their choice.
The full policy proposal is available at www.mikepence.com/issues.
Source: Pence For Governor