Governor Chet Culver signed two pieces of veterans’ legislation at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, on April 6. House File 2532 allows benefits from the Veterans Trust Fund to be exempted from individual income tax, and Senate File 2175 provides for veteran representation on mental health policy bodies.
Below are summaries of the legislation the Governor signed:
Allows the two benefits of the Veterans Trust Fund – travel expenses related to follow-up medical care and unemployment assistance – that provide direct payments to the veteran to be exempted from individual income tax. The bill applies retroactively to January 1, 2010, for tax years beginning on or after that date.
Directs the Department of Human Services to coordinate with the Mental Health Planning Advisory Council so that a military veteran who is knowledgeable about behavioral and mental health issues of veterans is on the council. The council is required by federal law as a condition of receiving federal mental health funds. DHS does not make this appointment but can work with the council to identify and appoint a veteran. Also adds a member, appointed by the Governor, who is a military veteran knowledgeable about behavioral and mental health issues to the Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Developmental Disabilities, and Brain Injury Commission.