Ways and Means to consider lottery allocation for veterans

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Indiana veterans were pushing for their own scratch off lottery ticket to pay for veterans support programs, but now it appears lawmakers have another idea.

In one of the more interesting ideas proposed for the 2017 General Assembly, Indiana Veterans wanted to come away with a scratch off ticket to fund medical needs for veterans across the state of Indiana.

At one time there were four bills heard that dealt with the idea, but now the proposal has been narrowed down to one that will soon be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee in the second half of the legislative session.

The current bill doesn't give a scratch off game to veterans, but they do come away with a $125-thousand payment each quarter from Hoosier Lottery proceeds.

Jim Bauerle of the Military Veterans Coalition of Indiana calls that a good start.

“Everything we get is a bonus because we don't get a lot,” he said. “We are trying to get a pilot program to help veterans with brain injury and PTSD to receive medical care that they don't get from the VA because it is not FDA approved. We also have homeless veterans in this state and many of them, because of the terms of service, don't qualify for federal money."

Advocates now believe they can try to inch up from $125-thousand to $300-thousand per quarter to fund mental and physical services needed by veterans across the state.