FUNDS APPROVED FOR VETERANS
FUNDS APPROVED FOR VETERANS PROGRAMS
Des Moines, Iowa – The House approved additional funding for two veterans programs on a unanimous vote today. The bill provides $4 million to re-open the Injured Veterans Grant Program and the Veterans Homeowner Assistance Program.
"Having served in Iraq an Afghanistan, I can tell you the importance of stability in making a successful transition when you return home. Owning a home provides returning veterans and their families with a sense of stability that is badly needed," said State Representative McKinley Bailey, D-Webster City.
"I’m passionate about the injured veterans program because when someone is injured in combat, it is an extremely traumatic experience," added Bailey. "In my own experience overseas, what kept me going was my family. If someone gets injured and we can get their family out to them as soon as possible, it will help them heal from their wounds, both physically and psychologically."
Senate File 95 provides a $2 million increase in funding for the Injured Veterans Grant Program, which was created last year. The program provides grants up to $10,000 to veterans injured while in a combat zone. The grants are provided in increments of $2,500 every 30 days until reaching $10,000 while the injured veteran is hospitalized or receiving medical care or rehabilitation services authorized by the military. The Legislature provided $1 million for this program last year, but is currently out of money.
The bill provides $2 million for the Veterans Homeowner Assistance Program. This program is in the third year of funding, which provides grants up to $5,000 to veterans to be used as matching grants for down payments and closing costs to home purchases. The grants are eligible to veterans who have served at least 90 days of active duty in the armed forces, beginning September 11, 2001, and ending June 30, 2008. The grants are also eligible to the surviving spouse of a decease veteran. The Legislature provided $2 million for this program last year, but high demand exhausted the funds last fall.
The bill now goes to Governor Chet Culver for his signature.