Calling it the centerpiece of his 2014 legislative agenda, Gov. Terry Branstad called for lawmakers to “commit to honoring and better serving the men and women that protect our liberties and rights every day.”
Home Base Iowa is Branstad’s plan to recruit military service members to Iowa and match them with good, high paying careers.
“I believe Iowa can offer our nation’s veterans something even greater than a square deal,” he said. “We can offer them a better opportunity to live the Iowa Dream. We can give them the best life America has to offer.”
His plan would fully exempt military pensions from state income tax, putting Iowa on more equal footing with many neighboring and Midwestern states. Veterans and their families would get in-state tuition at regents’ universities and community colleges, and their military experience would count toward meeting the requirements of occupational licenses.
Although the program’s $10 million hit on tax revenues, response to the governor’s plan was favorable. The proposal builds on Democratic initiatives, said Rep. Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville.
“These are initiatives that are not new and they started at legislative level and it’s good to hear the governor say he supports them,” Jacoby said. “I hope we get them done this year.”