Culver signs four veterans bills - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Culver signs four veterans bills

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by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) --  The day after we honored the men and woman who gave their lives in service to our country, the state of Iowa is making sure the rights of those who have served continue to serve are protected.

Today, Governor Chet Culver signed four bills into law, all aimed at improving the quality of life for all veterans.

"I think we need to take care of veterans for what they do. I think that's a problem we've had in the past. We've just kind of overlooked what they actually bring back to the state and each state as well," Executive Director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, Patrick Palmersheim said.           

One of the bills would allow veterans to have preference over other candidates for state funded jobs. This also includes veterans from other states.

"In Iowa the unemployment rate is hovering right around five-percent, nationally the unemployment rate for veterans is about 14-percent that's a big gap," Governor Culver said.          

Senator Jeff Danielson served in the Navy in the early nineties and he says it is very important to find a job right after serving.

"When they're searching for a job, often times they get back on their feet quicker and back into civilian life and they are much more successful than they otherwise would be. So giving them some preference and honoring that work and that service is important", Senator Danielson said.         

Culver also signed other legislation that impacts veterans here in Iowa. He signed House File 503 which redefines who qualifies as a veteran. Iowa code now includes men and women who served on active duty during peacetime and were honorably discharged.

He also signed House File 706, which offers foreclosure protection for veterans. It is now a serious misdemeanor to knowingly repossess or foreclose on property of active-duty members of the Iowa National Guard.

He also signed Senate File 45. This allows veterans to use in-state tuition at community colleges and regents' institutions. This also will help their families by allowing spouses and children the same residency benefits.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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