Governor Chet Culver today approved a new state law identical to the federal law which requires companies to either give returning soldiers their old jobs back or give them a job with the same level of pay as the one they left when called to active duty.
"Support for veterans is a value that all Iowans share," Culver said just before signing the bill into law." This new state law was drafted in reaction to a St. Louis-based company’s refusal to give an Iowa National Guard soldier her job back. Lawmakers are working on other initiatives for returning soldiers, including expanding the expenses covered by a fund set aside for those who’re seriously wounded while on active duty.
According to the governor, it’s all aimed at helping soldiers make a more "seamless transition" from active duty to civilian life. "We are committed to working in a bipartisan way to send a clear message to Iowa’s veterans and that message is simple: we thank you for your service and we will support you when you come home," Culver said during a midday event in his statehouse office.
Culver visited the Veterans Home in Marshalltown this afternoon. "This year I proposed $20 million in state funding to be used to leverage $65 million in federal funds for a new, state-of-the-art $100 million Veterans Home in Marshalltown," Culver said at the statehouse before making the trip to Marshalltown. "…When this project is complete, we will take pride in knowing that Iowa is home to one of the best veterans homes in the nation."
Next Tuesday, the adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard will deliver the annual "Condition of the Guard" to the Iowa Legislature.