“Our veterans have risked their lives defending our freedom. To show our gratitude, let’s make Iowa the leader in respect, support, and opportunity for veterans.” -Governor Branstad
In his Condition of the State address delivered on January 14, 2014, Governor Branstad called on the state legislature to pass the Home Base Iowa Act, which includes the following provisions:
- Military Pension Tax Exemption
- - Fully exempt military pensions from state income tax.
- Military Homeownership Assistance Program
- - Increased funding for the Military Homeownership Assistance Program, which provides $5,000 of down payment or closing cost assistance. Since January 2009, the program has leveraged over $178 million of home purchases through FY13.
- Veterans hiring preference
- - Consistent with the existing state government veterans hiring preference, clarify that it is legal for a private employer to do the same.
- Streamlined occupational licensure
- - Credit for military training and experience. Require each licensing board to adopt rules allowing credit for military training and experience in the licensing process.
- - Spousal licensure. Require each licensing board to adopt rules allowing for licensing reciprocity for spouses, or provisional licensure while the licensing process is completed.
- Education (Executive Actions)
- - Governor Branstad is calling on the State Board of Education to create a uniform policy granting automatic in-state tuition to veterans, their spouses, and their dependents at Iowa’s community colleges. The Regents universities already have such a policy in place.
- - The Governor will also convene stakeholders from the community colleges, Regents universities, private colleges and universities, and the veterans community to develop consistent polices for awarding academic credit for military training and experience.
- License plates
- - Free license plates for those eligible for veteran-related plates
We encourage you to reach out to your state legislator and ask them to support this important act. To find your local representative please click here.