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

Bob Cherry sits at his desk on the House floor. Cherry is a White man with white hair and goatee, wearing a suit and tie.
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.

Nearly 100,000 public pension recipients in Indiana will get an additional benefit 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, between $150 and $450, 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.

READ MORE: House quickly advances 13th check for public pension retirees out of committee

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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, between $150 and $450, determined by their years of service.

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

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.