Iowa Politicians Line up to Support Veterans

Governor Terry Branstad delivers the Condition of the State address at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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By Ben Hoppenworth

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad and state lawmakers are billing an effort to enhance services for veterans as a way to attract new residents to Iowa, but it's tough to gauge if this push will really have an impact on the state population.

Legislators in the Iowa Senate are poised to approve a bill that would fully exempt military pensions from state income taxes. Lawmakers are also supportive of other plans from Branstad to connect veterans with jobs, education and housing.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, says this is a "great opportunity" to bring people to Iowa.

But Mike Owen, executive director of the liberal-leaning think tank Iowa Policy Project, says retirees weigh many factors besides tax breaks when deciding where to locate.

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