Readers Respond

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Let the lottery benefit veterans

From PAT MURPHY / Iowa legislator

Legislation approved by the House Veterans Affairs Committee directs the

State Lottery to create two additional scratch and pull-tab games annually, with the profits dedicated to veterans, their spouses, and dependents. The Lottery estimates that these additional games would

generate approximately $3 million annually.

The bill dedicates the lottery ticket profits from these two games into the Veterans Trust Fund, until the fund reaches a balance of fifty million dollars or more. Until the trust fund reaches a $50 million balance, the Veterans Affairs Commission is only allowed to spend the interest, which may be allocated for a variety of expenses such as

travel expenses for wounded veterans, educational expenses, unemployment

assistance, health care, counseling, honor guard services and other services for veterans. Any balance in the trust fund above $50 million (which will likely take over 15 years to accumulate) will be

appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs for departmental programs.

Another bill to help veterans... clarifies that returning troops are entitled to their previous job with no loss of seniority, status or compensation... This is certainly not a widespread problem, but legislators want to be certain that it never happens in