A bill-signing ceremony was staged at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown this morning as Governor Culver approved two military-related bills.
The first bill stipulates that veterans with service-connected injuries who qualify for unemployment or who receive benefits from the Veterans Trust Fund do not have to pay taxes on those benefits. The second bill directs the Iowa Department of Human Services to coordinate with the Mental Health Planning Advisory Council to ensure that a “knowledgeable” veteran serves on the council.
Culver says these kind of moves are being made against the backdrop of a looming deployment involving up to 3100 Iowa National Guard soldiers. “So our challenges remain when it comes to supporting our military families in the future as well,” Culver says.
The Iowa Guard soldiers are preparing for duty in Afghanistan, starting later this summer. “In the era of multiple deployments and growing concerns about things like post-traumatic stress disorder, I believe it is critical that we take every step possible to make sure that we care for veterans needing help,” Culver says.
Last month Culver signed another bill which extends unemployment benefits to spouses who have to quit their jobs and move to follow their spouse who is a soldier if that soldier is reassigned to another post or goes on active duty. According to Culver, Iowa is the first state in the country to implement a series of proposals like that one which have been recommended by the Pentagon.
By Lance Renaud, KFJB, Marshalltown
Photo courtesy of the governor’s office.