The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing portions of Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:
THANK YOU, VETERANS
November 11 is Veterans Day, a time to remember all who have served our country in uniform and defended our freedoms, in times of war and peace.
The commitment of Iowans to serve our country has been strong since the Civil War. That’s why the Legislature has worked in a bipartisan manner to expand benefits for our veterans and servicemembers.
We’ve acted on many levels to make Iowa a great place for veterans and their families, encourage returning service members to make Iowa their home, and ensure they receive the education, job opportunities and quality of life they deserve.
Here are some bills passed during the 2021 session to help and honor our veterans and servicemembers:
* Waived county recorder fees for examining or copying public records needed to complete and file claims for veterans benefits.
* Streamlined the admission application to the Iowa Veterans Home.
* Protected personal information provided to the county for a disabled veteran tax credit or a military property tax exemption.
* Designated U.S. Highway 20 that runs between Sioux City and Dubuque as “Iowa Medal of Honor Highway.” The American Legion of Iowa worked on this project with 11 other states as a tribute to our military. The complete route stretches between Oregon and Massachusetts.
* Enhanced popular education benefits that help the Iowa National Guard recruit and retain members.
* Established a National Guard student loan repayment program administered by the College Student Aid Commission.
* Exempted students enrolled in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) from the requirement to participate in school PE.
* Expanded the time for a veteran to appeal a hiring or demotion decision based on the veterans preference law.