Iowans who’re called to active military duty would be eligible for some new perks under a bill Governor Tom Vilsack signed into law today (Thursday). Vilsack says it’s appropriate to honor those who serve our country. “We have asked these individuals to put their life on hold, to take a risk, to put themselves in harm’s way,” Vilsack says. The bill offers new grants to Iowans who’ve been on active duty 90 days or more to help them buy a home or make home improvements. “We wanted to send a message of thanks and gratitude to our men and women in service,” Vilsack says. “Service in this state is valued and appreciated.” The new law also puts a little more money into Community Mental Health Centers. “We, I think, who do not serve have no appreciation for how challenging it can be to have been in the line of fire, to have been away for months or in some cases years and then come back to regular life,” Vilsack asys. The governor says the money will ensure those who have trouble adjusting to regular life once their military service is over will get help. In addition, the bill puts up six-hundred-50 thousand dollars towards the college tuition costs of those who join the Iowa National Guard. Finally, 18 state workers are in the National Guard, and the bill sets aside about 100-thousand dollars of state money to pay for health care insurance if those workers are called up. The Guard doesn’t provide insurance benefits.
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