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We want veterans to make Iowa their home

November 19, 2014
By State Senator Steve Sodders - D-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In 2007, the Iowa Senate established a Veterans Affairs Committee, which has since approved wide-ranging initiatives to help veterans, service members and their families.

In 2010, Iowa became the first state to address the Department of Defense's top 10 quality of life issues identified by USA 4 Military Families. The Iowa Veterans Council praised it as "the most successful year for veterans since the 1950s." We've followed it up with more initiatives recommended by veterans' organizations and service groups across the state.

Earlier this year, Iowa became one of the first All-Star Vet States, a program that highlights opportunities and services to attract military families. Part of what earned Iowa the All-Star designation is our Home Base Iowa effort, which helps veterans find jobs, explore career paths and make a smooth transition to civilian life.

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State Senator Steve Sodders

Home Base Iowa is also a hub for employers and communities that want to attract military families. Companies are becoming Home Base Iowa Businesses by pledging jobs specifically for veterans, and counties are offering incentives to welcome veterans to Home Base Iowa Communities.

As part of Home Base Iowa, we approved legislation this year that will encourage more veterans to make Iowa their home by:

Cutting taxes for veterans by exempting military retirement pay from state individual income taxes. Eligible veterans have given 20 or more years of military service to our country, and must be at least 55 or disabled.

Providing veterans, their spouses and dependents in-state tuition at Iowa's colleges and universities.

Encouraging our colleges and universities to give credit to veterans for military education, training and experience.

Allowing relevant military training and experience to help veterans qualify for professional licensure.

Encouraging private companies to follow the public sector's lead by allowing a preference in hiring and promoting veterans.

Eliminating the initial fee charged for special license plates associated with military service.

Expanding eligibility for the Military Homeownership Assistance Program, which provides grants to veterans and service members purchasing a house in Iowa.

For more information on Home Base Iowa and how it's making our state home to more veterans and their families, go to www.HomeBaseIowa.org.

Learn more about all state and federal benefits for veterans at va.iowa.gov/benefits.

 
 
 

 

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