Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 776 Newsletter

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    Agenda, Veterans Day on the Hill - January 22, 2009

    8:30 - 10:00 Registration (Capitol Rotunda - First Floor)

    10:00 10:15 Packets for legislators distributed

    10:15 Event greeting - Jerry Moorehead

    10:15 - Noon Locate your elected officials and discuss veteran legislative priorities

    11:00 Veterans Day Program (Capitol Rotunda - First Floor)

    Pledge of Allegiance

    Moment of Silence

    Lt. Governor Patty Judge

    Senator Darryl Beall, Chair, Senate Veterans Committee

    Rep. Ray Zirkelbach, Chair, House Veterans Committee

    Senator Jim Seymour, Ranking Member, Senate Veterans CommitteeRep. Matt Windschitl, Ranking Member, House Veterans Committee

    Noon Registration closes

    Lunch and Depart

    *** Optional Event***

    9:30 - 10:30 Celebrating Iowas Veterans and Promoting their Mental Health

    (State Historical Building)

    Moderator: Patrick Palmersheim, Exec. Director of Iowa Veterans Affairs

    Speakers: Susan Wilkinson, Iowa Veterans Home

    Elizabeth Ledvina, President, County Commissioners of Veterans

    Affairs

    Angela Hoth, Iowa City Veterans Hospital

    Distinguished Panelists:

    Senator Daryl Beall, Fort Dodge (invited)

    Senator James Seymour, Woodbine (invited)

    Representative Ray Zirkelbach (invited)

    Representative Matt Windschitl (invited)

    PREAMBLE

    We the Veterans of Iowa believe that the service of no Veteran is superior or inferior to the service of any otherVeteran. We therefore ask the Legislators and the Governor of the State of Iowa to consider the needs of Veter-ans of all eras and periods whenever considering, passing, and signing-into-law all measures that come beforethe Legislative Branch and Executive Branch of the Government of the State of Iowa. Resolutions (in priorityorder) are listed below.

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    PREAMBLE

    We the Veterans of Iowa believe that the service of no Veteran is superior or inferior to the service of any otherVeteran. We therefore ask the Legislators and the Governor of the State of Iowa to consider the needs of Veter-ans of all eras and periods whenever considering, passing, and signing-into-law all measures that come beforethe Legislative Branch and Executive Branch of the Government of the State of Iowa. Resolutions (in priorityorder) are listed below.

    2009-1 Provide Full Funding for Iowa Veterans Home2009-2 Gulf War Bonus2009-3 Implement Improved County Director of Veterans Affairs Program2009-4 Continue to Fund the Veterans Trust Fund and Protect it From Raiding by Non-Veterans2009-5 Make Available Matching Funds to Assist Veteran Service Organizations in Providing Service

    Offices.2009-6 Provide Funding for Veterans County Property Tax Exemption2009-7 Continue the Military Service Member Home Ownership Assistance Program2009-8 Continue the Injured Veteran Grant Program2009-9 Exempt all Military Income Received by National Guard, Reserve Forces or U.S. Armed Forces

    from State Income Taxes While on Federal Active Duty2009-10 Full Funding for the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and Iowa Veterans Cemetery2009-11 Limit Change to Primary Residence Property Taxes for Disabled Veterans2009-12 Funding Post Secondary Education by the State for Dependent Children of Service Connected

    Disabled Veterans in a State School2009-13 State of Iowa Disabled Veterans Business Set Aside Program2009-14 Limit the Cost to Veterans of Post-Secondary Education at Institutions in Iowa2009-15 County Director of Veterans Affairs Training and Employment Reports2009-16 Provide For Fair Policies For Deploying Employees, Replacement Employees, and Employers

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    2009-1 PROVIDE FULL FUNDING FOR IOWAVETERANS HOME

    WHEREAS the Iowa Veterans Home is maintained as a long-term health care facility providing multiple levels of care,with attendant health care services, for honorably discharged Veterans and their dependent spouses and for survivingspouses of honorably discharged Veterans; and

    WHEREAS the Iowa Veterans Home shall operate on the basis of a net appropriation from the general fund of the State ofIowa. The appropriation amount shall be the net amount of state moneys projected to be needed for the Iowa VeteransHome for the fiscal year of the appropriation. The purpose of utilizing a net appropriation is to encourage the Iowa Veter-ans Home to operate with increased self-sufficiency, to improve quality and efficiency, and to support collaborative ef-forts among all providers of funding for the services available from the Iowa Veterans Home. Revenues received that areattributed to the Iowa Veterans Home during a fiscal year include but not limited to all of the following:

    a. Federal Veterans Administration payments.b. Medical assistance program revenue received under chapter 249A.c. Federal Medicare program payments.d. Private pay;e. Long-term care insurancef. Other revenues generated from current, new, or expanded services that the Iowa Veterans Home is authorized to

    provide.

    WHEREAS the Iowa Veterans Home, in response to the discontinuation of the State of Iowa Charter Agency program, issubject to a full time equivalent (FTE) cap. The Iowa Veterans Home strives to provide exceptional care to its residentsand due to a variety of circumstances, staffing needs have increased. The Iowa Veterans Home requires flexibility in staff-ing for changing acuity levels and is opposed to implementing expensive alternatives such as mandating overtime or con-tracting for staff; andWHEREAS the Commandant of Iowa Veterans Home shall administer and enforce all rules adopted by the commission,including rules of discipline and, subject to these rules, may immediately suspend the membership of and expel any per-son from the Home for infraction of the rules when the Commandant determines that the health, safety, or welfare of theresidents of the home is in immediate danger and other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted. The suspension andexpulsion are temporary pending action by the commission. Chapters 57 and 58 of the Administrative Rules of the Iowa

    Department of Inspections and Appeals hinders the rightful discharge of a competent resident and transfer of an incompe-tent resident to a more appropriate licensed facility; THEREFOREBE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature pass bills and the Governor sign into law measures providing the net amount offunding needed for programs, salary adjustments, and adequate staffing required for efficient and effective operation ofthe Iowa Veterans Home; and that the Legislature pass bills and the Governor sign into law measures and support for en-forcement of the rightful discharge of a competent resident and transfer of an incompetent resident to a more appropriatelicensed facility; and that the Legislature and Governor continue to support the $20 million commitment to the Iowa Veterans Home Master Plan Phases 2-4.2009-2 GULF WAR BONUS

    WHEREAS bonuses have been paid to the Veterans of all wars up to and including Viet Nam (including the Mayaguezincident, and

    WHEREAS it has now become the policy of Presidents of both major Political Parties to engage in military incidents thatresult in considerable casualties of those engaged, and

    WHEREAS nearly twenty years have now passed since Operation Desert Storm, THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature pass and the Governor sign into law a bonus program for Iowa Veterans whoserved during the periods defined by Iowa Code 35.1 for Lebanon or Grenada service, Panama service, and the PersianGulf conflict, and fund it at $500,000 per year until all are paid..

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    2009-3 IMPLEMENT IMPROVED COUNTY DIRECTOR OFVETERANS AFFAIRS PROGRAM

    WHEREAS history has shown that an effective Director of Veterans Affairs increases the amount of compensa-tion and pension moneys that the Veterans of a County receive, and

    WHEREAS Some counties have not provided an effective Veterans Affairs Officer, whether Director, Administrator, or even Clerical, and

    WHEREAS a lack of an effective County Veterans Affairs Office renders insurmountable the obstacles manyVeterans encounter on their way to their well-deserved Veterans Administration benefits such as compensationand pension claims because needed assistance in reporting their need is nonexistent or difficult to contact, and

    WHEREAS other counties have forced their Veterans to contact the Human Service Office (commonly calledthe County Relief Office) for benefits they have earned through their sacrifices, and

    WHEREAS the 82nd General Assembly passed and the Governor signed a law providing assistance to Counties,

    and providing penalties for failure to provide the needed services to Veterans, THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Iowa Government provide the fundingand ongoing support to implement the legislation for improvement of County Veterans Affairs offices to makethem readily available and user-friendly.

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    2009-4 CONTINUE TO FUND THE VETERANS TRUSTFUND AND PROTECT IT FROM RAIDING BY

    NON-VETERANS

    WHEREAS the Legislature passed a bill which the Governor signed into law the creation of the Iowa VeteransTrust Fund several years ago, and

    WHEREAS the funding for this trust fund has been somewhat unpredictable ever since, and

    WHEREAS the Legislature passed a bill which the Governor signed into law the creation of an Iowa LotteryProgram to benefit the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, and

    WHEREAS the funding that has been received has been subject to confiscation by acts of the Executive andLegislative branches of the Government of the State of Iowa, THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED the Legislature begin the steps to amend the Constitution of the State of Iowa to protect theIowa Veterans Trust Fund from being diverted for other purposes, and supplement the proceeds of the Iowa Lot

    tery Program to guarantee that not less than Five Million Dollars annually goes into the Iowa Veterans TrustFund until the balance in the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund is not less than Fifty Million Dollars, and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature begin the steps to raise the ceiling for the Iowa VeteransTrust Fund so it is equal to the Fifty Million Dollar amount after inflation, using the year 2008 as the Base.

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    2009-5 MAKE AVAILABLE MATCHING FUNDS TO AS-SIST VETERAN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS INPROVIDING SERVICE OFFICES.

    WHEREAS the Veterans Service Officers at the Des Moines Federal Building and at the VA Hospitals are es-sential in providing assistance to Veterans in completing compensation and pension claims, and

    WHEREAS the Veterans Service Organizations provide in excess of $850,000 to maintain these Service Offi-cers for the benefit of the needy and deserving Veterans, and

    WHEREAS the County and State Governments also benefit (these compensation and pension benefits currentlybring into the state in excess of $480,000,000, primarily utilized in the county in which the Veteran resides) be-cause VA funding relieves the County and state of responsibility for assistance to the Veteran, and allow thestate and county to tax the businesses providing services to the Veteran, and

    WHEREAS the Legislature passed a bill which the Governor signed into law allowing the Veterans Service Or-ganizations to draw additional funding from the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, but not enough to hire, train, and

    equip the additional Service Officers needed to process the additional claims from the Veterans of the OperationIraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the state of Iowa continue and improve the program of providing Dollar-for-Dollarmatching funds to hire, train, and equip the needed additional Service Officers brought into being by the addi-tional claims from the OIF and OEF Veterans.

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    2009-6 PROVIDE FUNDING FOR VETERANSCOUNTY PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION

    WHEREAS the Legislature passed a bill which the Governor signed into law to provide a Veterans County Property Tax Exemption equal to approximately 10% of the property tax on the average residence in Iowa when en-acted, and

    WHEREAS the dollar amount of this Veterans County Property Tax Exemption has not changed since enact-ment (approximately Sixty Years ago), and Property Values have increased exponentially in that time, thus ren-dering the current exemption a relative pittance, and

    WHEREAS Veterans tend to be the more educated, motivated, and disciplined employees a firm could hire herein Iowa, to keep these Veterans in Iowa, a pro-Veteran tax policy needs to designed and implemented, THERE-FORE,

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Iowa Legislature update the dollar amount of the Veterans County Property TaxExemption to equal 10% of the property taxes on the average residence in Iowa, so it fulfills the original intentof the Legislature that enacted it, and that the Legislature fully fund this exemption so it does not cast a burdenon the budgets of the constituent counties.

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    2009-7 CONTINUE THE MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERHOME OWNERSHIP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    WHEREAS the Military Service Member Home Ownership Assistance Program was established to assist withhome purchases for current and former military service members who are or have served on active duty, and

    WHEREAS the program helps qualified individuals purchase a home in Iowa through matching grants, THERE-FORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor work to continue the Military Service Member HomeOwnership Assistance Program in future fiscal years.

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    2009-8 CONTINUE THE INJURED VETERAN GRANT PRO-GRAM

    WHEREAS the Legislature passed a bill which the Governor signed into law providing an Injured VeteransGrant Program that became effective 1 January 2006, and

    WHEREAS the Injured Veterans Grant Program has provided needed assistance to Veterans who have been seriously injured in the line of duty in a combat zone or in a zone designated by the armed forces as a hazardousduty zone, and

    WHEREAS the grants have provided financial assistance to these Veterans so that family members may be withthe Veteran during recovery from their injuries, THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor work to continue the Injured Veterans Grant Programin future fiscal years.

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    2009-9 EXEMPT ALL MILITARY INCOMERECEIVED BY NATIONAL GUARD, RESERVEFORCES OR U.S. ARMED FORCES FROM STATE IN-COME TAXES WHILE ON FEDERAL ACTIVE DUTY

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    2009-10 FULL FUNDING FOR THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OFVETERANS AFFAIRS AND IOWA VETERANS CEME-TERY

    WHEREAS the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs provides a repository for documents used by veterans toprovide verification of the service they provided in protection of our nation; and

    WHEREAS the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs coordinates the training of county directors and commis-sioners of Veterans affairs in assisting veterans with claims for federal VA benefits; and

    WHEREAS the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs oversees the operation of the Iowa Veterans Cemetery;and

    WHEREAS the Legislative and Executive branches of the Government of Iowa have increased their require-ments upon the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs as a result of legislation passed regarding state veteransbenefits and program administration, including the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, Injured Veteran Grant Program,several Vietnam Bonus Programs, County Grant Program for Veterans, War Orphan Education Assistance, and

    Veteran Commemorative Property Regulation; and

    WHEREAS the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, in response to the needs of Iowas Veterans, has in-creased its outreach programs to the veterans of Iowa who were harmed physically, mentally, and/or emotional-ly during their service; and

    WHEREAS increasing numbers of Iowa National Guard and Reserve deployments have created additional de-mands on the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature pass and the Governor sign into law measures providing full funding ofprograms, salary adjustments, and adequate staffing so the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs can efficiently

    operate the mandated programs, including funding to maintain the staffing and material support required for fulland dignified operation of the Iowa Veterans cemetery.

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    2009-11 LIMIT CHANGE TO PRIMARY RESIDENCE PROPER-TY TAXES FOR DISABLED VETERANS

    WHEREAS service connected disability compensation is awarded for the loss of earning ability to Veteranswho are wounded or injured in the line of duty, and

    WHEREAS Veterans compensation does not increase at the rate that local property taxes or assessed value ofthe property can increase in Iowa, and

    WHEREAS the injuries inflicted upon the service-connected disabled Veterans were inflicted during service tothe nation, state, community, and neighbors, the disabled Veteran deserves to be protected from annual increas-es in property taxes that eventually forces many disabled Veterans out of their homes, THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature pass and the Governor sign into law a measure that provides that property taxes assessed on the primary residence owned by a service-connected disabled Veteran not be allowed toincrease beyond where it was when the residence owned by the service-connected disabled Veteran became thatVeterans primary residence.

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    2009-12 FUNDING POST SECONDARY EDUCATION BY THESTATE FOR DEPENDENT CHILDREN OF SERVICECONNECTED DISABLED VETERANS IN A STATESCHOOL

    WHEREAS the State of Iowa and other states do not offer Post-Secondary education free of charge to depen-dents of Veterans rated as service-connected disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and;

    WHEREAS numerous dependents of service-connected disabled Veterans would benefit by having an educationthat would otherwise be unavailable without undue financial hardship due to the income limitations from ser-vice-connected disabled Veterans, and

    WHEREAS, the funding by the State of Iowa for Post Secondary Education, in-state funded schools wouldgreatly enhance the lives of children of service-connected disabled Veterans, along with the communities inwhich they live, THEREFORE:

    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Legislature pass and the Governor sign into law a measure that provides fundingfor up to four years of tuition at any College or University that allows the individual to work and live in Iowaduring that course of study, the cost of which cannot exceed that of the equivalent course of study at the mostexpensive Iowa Regents College or University. These benefits are only available after any United States Veter-ans Administration Chapter 35 benefits for which the dependent is eligible has been exhausted, and may not beused for schooling that would lead to a degree beyond the baccalaureate level.

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    2009-13 STATE OF IOWA DISABLED VETERANBUSINESS SET ASIDE PROGRAM

    WHEREAS Congress enacted a law that has provided for the Federal Government Disabled Veterans Set-Asideprogram, and

    WHEREAS the President of the United States signed that legislation making it the responsibility of the FederalAgencies, including the Small Business Administration, to set aside up to 3% of Government Contracts for dis-abled Veteran-owned business, and

    WHEREAS, many Iowa National Guard and Iowa Reserve Units have been called to fight in the Middle East,and

    WHEREAS, many of these military personnel have been wounded, injured and disabled during these periods ofservice, and

    WHEREAS, disabled Veterans preference should not be inferior to that of any group in Iowa, THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature acknowledge US Law 108.183 to provide opportunities that are secondto none, to disabled-Veteran-owned businesses.

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    2009-14 LIMIT THE COST TO VETERANS OF POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION AT INSTITUTIONS INIOWA

    WHEREAS the State of Iowa and other States do not offer Post Secondary Education benefits to Veterans, and

    WHEREAS many Veterans returning from combat and near-combat duty in the armed forces have problemsre-acclimating to civilian employment, and

    WHEREAS federal Veterans Administration benefits are generally limited to less than a full course of study formost degrees and professional certifications, and

    WEHREAS, limiting the cost of Post Secondary Education for these Veterans would encourage their continuedpursuit of Post Secondary Education, and make them more valuable as citizens and in the State of Iowa,THEREFORE

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature pass and the Governor sign into law a measure that would provide PostSecondary Education at any college or university for Veterans received while living and working in Iowa, thecost of which to be limited to that of a similar course of study at the most expensive Iowa Regents EducationalInstitution. This benefit is limited to any one course of study for any one degree or certification, and may not beexercised until after all United States Veterans Administration Chapter 35 benefits are exhausted.

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    2009-15 COUNTY DIRECTOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRSTRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT REPORTS

    WHEREAS the goal of recent legislation is to provide better services to veterans at the county level through education and additional services, andWHEREAS the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs is charged by the Legislative and Executive Branches ofthe Iowa Government to ensure compliance with the provisions of legislation by County Officials, andWHEREAS the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs has in its records the weekly hours of service and thehours of attendance at schools put on by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, andWHEREAS most County Boards of Supervisors and County Commissioners of Veterans Affairs have no basisof comparison for the comparative level of training and employment of their County Director of Veterans Af-fairs with other Counties of similar population, and no basis of comparison of income from the US Veterans Administration to County residents THEREFOREBE IT RESOLVED THAT the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Government of Iowa be urged to in-struct the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs to report annually on the first business day of the month of Feb-ruary to the Governor, each member of the Iowa Legislature, each member of all County Boards of Supervisorsand each County Commissioner of Veterans Affairs in Iowa of the total number of hours of training received byall County Directors of Veterans Affairs during the previous year, the weekly schedule of employment of allCounty Directors of Veterans Affairs, total cumulative annual income to residents of each County from the USVeterans Administration, and the population of all Counties. We also urge the Legislative and ExecutiveBranches of the Government of Iowa to insist that all the above County Officials receive from the Iowa Depart-ment of Veterans Affairs a ten-year trend analysis of this data.

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    2009-16 PROVIDE FOR FAIR POLICIES FOR DEPLOY-ING EMPLOYEES, REPLACEMENT EMPLOY-EES, AND EMPLOYERS

    WHEREAS National Guard deployments not only impact the deploying employee, they adversely affect the em-ployer, requiring the employer to hire replacement workers, and train them sufficiently to fill in for the de-ployed employees, and adversely affect the worker hired to replace the deployed employee, then have the

    employment terminated when the deploying worker returns safely home, andWHEREAS the employers of the State of Iowa comply with federal law by reinstating returning National Guardand Reserve service men and women to their previous job, then experience an increase in their UnemploymentInsurance Premium to account for the termination of the replacement employee, thus in effect punishing the Employer for behaving in the responsible and lawful manner, and THEREFORE BE ITRESOLVED that the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Government of the State of Iowa examine thisprocess with an eye toward fair and equitable treatment for the deployed worker, the replacement worker, andthe employer.

    CALL TO Chairman Gerald Moorehead called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM at theORDER meeting room of the Paralyzed Veterans Association Iowa Headquarters.

    ROLL All organizations except the 40&8 were represented. Ten delegates wereCALL .present, and five delegates were represented by their alternates. Five delegates were ex-

    cused, and fifteen delegates were absent. This is thought to be due to the requirement(because of snow storms on our normal meeting date) that this meeting be postponed un-til the Holiday Vacation period, and the reality that snow storms even now envelope partsof Iowa.

    MINUTES Don Zoutte moved that the minutes be approved as published. The motion was secondedby Jon Schneider, then carried.

    TREASURER Jon Schneider moved that the Treasurers Report be approved as published. TheREPORT motion seconded by Don Zoutte. Don Roepke reported on developments since the

    Treasurers Report was published. The motion carried.

    REPORTS NOTE: The first part of the minutes will be rather sketchy as the recording tape of thatpart of the meeting turned out to be not recorded at all. I am doing this from memory andfrom the few notes I take. Please bear with me.

    No elected officials were present, nor were there any Legislative staff members present.

    Dan Steen, Commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home, noted that this Legislative year is going to be a time to

    try to retain previous gains. He reported that he believes the Iowa Veterans Home will be able to completePhase 1 of the modernization program. He has little faith that anything beyond that will be authorized unlessVeterans are overwhelmingly in support of the project phases. Dan also reported on group visits to the IVH andits residents.

    Pat Palmersheim, Executive Director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, reported that the water prob-lem at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery is not as yet solved. Possible solutions include a chemical filtration systemor a settlement pond. Pat surrendered the floor to Kent Hartwig so he could discuss the Iowa Veterans TrustFund and our Legislative priorities.

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    Steve Mulcahy of the Iowa Veterans Commission discussed the changes in the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund necessary tomake it more useful to the Veterans of Iowa, and what alterations we might have to make to get through the upcomingsession of the Legislature.

    John Derner of the American Legion introduced Marlin Tillman the Legislative Committee Chair for the American Le-gion, and Bruce Feuerbach, American Legion Department of Iowa Commander. He then discussed an event on 14 Febru-ary 2009 at the Airport Holiday Inn from 1 to 3 PM for all Active Duty military and National Guard members. Noregistration necessary;.

    OLD The resolutions will be published, printed, and presented to our Legislators as is becauseBUSINESS everyone at this meeting is satisfied with them.

    IOWA VETERANS COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES 12/23/2008Secretary-Treasurer Donald W. Roepke Page 1

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    NEW Bob Mauseth, Don Zoutte, Lee Booton, Dan Gannon, and Joe Hays will assist theBUSINESS .Secretary-Treasuer on 22 January 2009 at the Capitol. Registration will open at 0830.

    Iowa Veterans Council Dues Notices were distributed except to the 40 & 8 and the Marine Corps League.The Marine Corps League paid their dues immediately before this meeting, and the 40 & 8 was not repre-sented at this meeting. The Secretary-Treasurer will forward the Dues Notice to the 40 & 8 with the min-utes.

    We discussed ways to increase participation in Veterans Day on the Hill. The Smoking Ban in the Ser-vice Club Canteens will increase attendance considerably.

    We discussed generation of a call list. The general consensus was that every Delegate to the Iowa Veter-ans Council should be called when this was needed. Any call list the individual Delegate wished to puttogether on his/her own was encouraged, but not required. If this could be expanded into a regular tele-phone tree, we could muster a lot of people when needed. If possible, needs for this will be generated bythe day before so it can also be sent out by the Secretary-Treasurer via Email. . Secretary-Treasurer Roep-ke is asked to compile this list and share it with appropriate Veterans Delegates.

    Joe Hays discussed the upcoming special Homeless Veterans Stand down to be held for 24 hours at a to-be-determined location. Joe is working with the Department of Labor to make this be meaningful and tomake it work. WE may be able to get word about this passed on the radio and Television, as well as thenewspapers.

    The smoking ban was discussed again. The VFW asked a member of the State Health Department to present the law to our people at our fall meeting. The law defines most Service Clubs as not private clubs.This brought about a discussion about the Iowa Veterans Council position on the smoking ban. We can-not produce a position on the smoking ban because some of our members are in favor, and some opposed.We have not discussed it in our legislative meetings, so we cannot have an official position. However, wecannot stop attendees at Veterans Day on the Hill from discussing it with their own Legislators. We mustmake certain that each Veteran at the Veterans Day on the Hill understands that any support or oppositionto the smoking ban is not part of our Legislative Priorities.

    STATE Jon Schneider of the PVA reports that an event will be sponsored on 3 JanuaryCOMMANDER at PVA Headquarters by the Army and the National Guard to watch the NationalREPORTS High School All Star game. All Army and National Guard are invited.

    AMVETS Past Commander Joe Hays pointed out the similarity of the winter weather in Afghani-stan to the weather in Iowa. The weather in Afghanistan came out second best, with the sheltersin Afghanistan coming out worst. Joe asked for prayers from members for US Warriors in Af-ghanistan this winter, and that as many care packages be sent as was possible.

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    GOOD NoneOF THE

    ORDER

    Jon Schneider moved we adjourn: Don Zoutte seconded the motion. The motion carried. Themeeting adjourned at 3:09 PM. Our next meeting will be at 1:00 PM on 10 March 2009. The subsequent three meetings

    are tentatively scheduled for:

    9 June 20098 September 20098 December 2009