January 22, 2024

13th check bill author says he thinks Senate Republicans have 'seen the light'


Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) has been one of the leading voices in the General Assembly for supporting public pension recipients. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) has been one of the leading voices in the General Assembly for supporting public pension recipients.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Nearly 100,000 public pension recipients in Indiana will get an extra month’s worth of benefits this year under a measure unanimously approved by the House Monday.

The 13th check bill, HB 1004, is headed to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain.

Public pension recipients received a 13th check — an additional benefit, less than their full monthly amount and determined by their years of service — nearly every year for the last three decades.

But an impasse between the House and Senate in last year’s budget over whether to do the 13th check or a 1 percent cost of living increase led to no boost at all.
 

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Rep. Bob Cherry’s (R-Greenfield) bill would rectify that for this year, sending out those 13th checks.

“They need these funds for the increased cost of food, transportation, heating bills, medicine,” Cherry said.

Cherry said he believes Senate Republicans have “seen the light” on the bill this year.

A long-term plan for increasing public pension benefits is in the works for next year.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story described the 13th check as an extra month of benefits. That is incorrect. The 13th check is an additional benefit, less than a person's full monthly benefit amount, determined by their years of service.
 

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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