Veterans Affairs Committee – Week 9, 2020


SF 2308 – ‘Iowa Medal of Honor’ Highway designation

SF 2308 designates the segment of U.S. Highway 20 between Sioux City and Dubuque as the “Iowa Medal of Honor Highway.” It requires the Iowa Department of Transportation to adopt rules to provide for an application, approval and inspection process for the purchase, and installation of signs indicating the designation by private entities. All costs and expenses of the purchase and installation of the signs will be paid by the private entity whose application is approved. The Department may approve more than one application to purchase and install the signs. Any sign placed must include a depiction of the three versions of the U.S. Medal of Honor for the Army, Navy and Air Force. The American Legion of Iowa worked in coordination with similar efforts in the 11 other U.S. Highway 20 states. The route stretches from Oregon to Massachusetts.
[3/11: 46-0 (Absent: Breitbach, Brown, Feenstra, Hogg)]  


HF 717 – Veterans preference appeal rights

HF 717 expands the time for a veteran to appeal a hiring or demotion decision based on the veterans preference law and requires certain information to be provided to veterans regarding the program. It mirrors Iowa Civil Rights Commission timelines under Code Ch. 35C: 

  • Duty to Investigate and Appoint (35C.3) – When information is sent to a veteran regarding refusal to employ, under code 35C, it must include information on the right for judicial review, the right to an appeal and the time to file an appeal.
  • Mandamus-Judicial Review (35C.4) – An action for judicial review must be filed within 300 days after refusal to allow preference, or a reduction in salary or position with the intent to bring about the resignation or discharge of the veteran.  
  • Veterans Preference-Removal-Certiorari-Judicial Review (35C.6) – If a veteran is removed from their position of employment, they must be given written notice of the right for a review. The review must be filed within 300 days. 

HF 717 by Committee on Public Safety passed the House 98-0.
[3:5: short form]

HF 2236 – Prohibits county recorders from charging fee to examine copy veterans records

HF 2236 provides that a county recorder cannot charge a fee for examining or copying public records needed to complete and file claims for veterans benefits with the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Iowa State Association of Counties supports the proposal. The bill passed the House 96-0.  
[3:5: short form]

HF 2312 – IVH admission eligibility affidavits

HF 2312 repeals the requirement that an individual applying for admission to the Iowa Veterans Home file an affidavit signed by two members of the commission of veteran affairs of the county in which the person resides relating to eligibility requirements for admission. The Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs is in favor of the proposal. The bill passed the House 96-0.
[3:5: short form]

HF 2313 – Coast Guard members defined as ‘federal active duty’

HF 2313 provides that “federal active duty” includes full-time duty performed by the United States Coast Guard. Employers must treat Coast Guard members the same as national guard and other military members in regards to unemployment, payments and benefits. An employer must provide a leave of absence to regular, reserve or auxiliary members of the Coast Guard when called to military duty. This includes state active duty, national guard duty, federal active duty or civil air patrol duty, without loss of status or efficiency rating and without loss of pay during the first 30 days of the leave of absence. It also adds similar protections relating to discrimination against a person because of military service, prohibits employers from discharging a person due to that service and prohibits an employer from terminating group health insurance coverage for a leave of absence for military duty. The bill also adds “space forces” as a component of the military in Iowa Code. HF 2313 passed the House 98-0.
[3/10: short form]

HF 2382 – Confidentiality of veteran information when applying for tax credits

HF 2382 states that the name and address of individuals allowed a disabled veteran tax credit or a military property tax exemption and maintained by the county recorder, county assessor, city assessor or other entity are confidential. Those entities may share this confidential information upon request to a county veterans service officer for purposes of providing information on benefits available to the veterans and their families. Currently, the names and addresses of veterans who receive disabled veteran tax credits or military tax credits are not protected and businesses or individuals ask for a “roll-out” of all names and addresses. Most of these requests are for solicitation purposes, and some may be unscrupulous people who prey on elderly, disabled, retired servicemembers or their surviving spouses. The Iowa State Association of Counties, Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Iowa County Recorders Association support the legislation. The bill passed the House 98-0.
[3:5: short form]

HF 2421—Approval procedures for military service property tax exemptions

HF 2421, as amended by the Committee, states that after a veteran applies for a military service property tax exemption in the county recorder’s office, the county assessor may require the county veterans service officer or veteran affairs executive director to review the applicant’s certificate of satisfactory service, order of separation, retirement, furlough to reserve, inactive status or honorable discharge documents. This is to verify that the discharge is valid and properly recorded prior to approval of the individual’s claim for a tax exemption. Although the most-used document is the “DD 214,” the county veterans affairs staff are also familiar with the various discharge and separation documents used by all military branches. The county recorder or assessor would process the application in the usual manner and notify the veteran. It applies to claims for military service property tax exemptions filed for assessment years beginning January 1, 2021. The bill passed the House 95-0.
[3/10: short form]