Guest Columnist

New legislation improves quality of life for veterans and service members

We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans, service members and their families. One way we can show our support is to eliminate barriers to their success.

A bill that passed the Legislature unanimously and was signed into law by the Governor March 22 will bring more skilled workers to our state and encourage military families to make Iowa their home.

HF 288 allows those deployed outside of the United States who are seriously injured and evacuated to apply for an Injured Veterans Grant while undergoing treatment. Grants are paid in increments of $2,500 up to a maximum of $10,000. Most receive $2,500 to help family in the first month when the service member is medically evacuated to a hospital.

The bill also helps spouses transfer their professional licenses to Iowa when military assignments require them to move. The secretaries of the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army are asking all states to adopt guidelines to expedite the licensure process for active-duty military spouses.

Another bill that unanimously passed the Senate and is under consideration in the House would make it easier to locate veterans and service members who go missing.

SF 64, the Missing Veterans-at-Risk Alert Program — similar to a “green alert” — requires Iowa Homeland Security to use the state’s mass notification and emergency messaging system to notify the public when a veteran is classified as an “endangered missing person.” The legislation aims to help any military veteran or active-duty member who has a service-related physical or mental health condition and who may be missing as a result of that condition.

- Sen. Rich Taylor (D-Mt. Pleasant) represents Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. He can be reached at 319-931-1568 or via email at