Democrat legislators have unveiled 10 proposals they say would ensure Iowans called to active duty aren’t penalized financially. One proposal would require colleges to refund all the tuition paid by a student who’s called to duty in the middle of a semester. Another would have the state pay for family counseling after a soldier returns from months of duty. Senator Steve Warnstadt, a Democrat from Sioux City, is a major in the National Guard who also served in the Persian Gulf War. Warnstadt says he wants to see the state take steps to protect those who are protecting us. Representative Brian Quirk, a Democrat from New Hampton, served in the military for five years, in the Gulf War and in South Korea. He says he’s talked with many other veterans from other states and found their states have done more for veterans than Iowa.Another of the proposals responds to the case of a college student called to active duty who was not allowed to be covered by his parents health insurance policy once he returned and his military insurance ran out. The bill proposed by Democrats would force insurance companies to let young people back on their parents insurance policy after returning from duty. Republican lawmakers last week said Iowans called to active duty shouldn’t pay state income taxes on their military paychecks, and proposed a bill to make those earnings tax-free.
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