This year, the GOP-led Legislature reduced support for key programs used by Iowa veterans.
One such area that saw a significant shortage is the Veterans Home Ownership program. The program received $2 million for FY 18, a reduction of $500,000. This program provides $5,000 to veterans to be used for house down payments and closing costs. Cuts to this line item will leave many of Iowa’s veterans without this benefit, and may hinder their ability to become homeowners and provide a safe place to live for not only themselves, but their families. The House Democrats showed their support for the veterans of the state by voting against this bill.
Another group that saw a large cut is the veteran county commission offices. These offices are often the best resource for veterans to learn about the benefits they are entitled to. Each year, these offices are allocated funds to use for the upkeep and operation of their respective offices. However, next year there will be $42,000 less for these county offices. Each office serves several veterans within their county, and the House Democrats opposed this measure and voted to keep supporting the important work that these county offices perform.
Finally, a bill that garnered full bi-partisan support in the Iowa House but wasn’t passed in the Iowa Senate, would have allowed the Veterans Trust Fund to be used, with some exceptions, to assist with veteran homelessness. Had the bill passed the Senate, the Veterans Trust Fund money could have been used by veterans for rental deposits, application fees, and assistance obtaining vital documents.
Iowa House Democrats will continue to work towards supporting our veterans, and fighting for the help they deserve.