Political Notebook

Courtesy Senate Majority Communications Office
State Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, right, accepts the Distinguished Public Service award from Indiana American Legion Department Commander Ed Trice at the organization's fall conference in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Banks honored

The Indiana American Legion honored Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, with the Distinguished Public Service Award at the organization's fall conference in Indianapolis over the weekend.

Indiana American Legion Department Commander Ed Trice said the award recognizes two new laws Banks authored in the 2013 legislative session.

The first granted in-state tuition eligibility to honorably discharged veterans and active National Guard members who enroll in one of Indiana's state colleges. The second measure expanded eligibility for a disabled Hoosier veteran license plate.

"Senator Banks has worked tirelessly with the Indiana Department of the American Legion and his other elected representatives to ensure that our veterans were recognized for their efforts in defense of our nation," Trice said. "He has shown to our state and its veterans the dedication and commitment you would come to expect from a servant of the people."

Banks thanked the Legion for its continued advocacy and support for Hoosier veterans.

"As both a lawmaker and a Navy reservist, I have seen the Legion's work in action," he said. "This organization serves a pivotal role in connecting veterans and service members to the resources they need, both at home and overseas. I've greatly appreciated these efforts, and I look forward to working with the Legion in the future."

Banks advocates for Indiana's military service men and women in a variety of roles. He currently serves on the Senate Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs Committee as well as the Indiana Veterans' Affairs Commission.

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.