Veterans Affairs Committee – All-Bill Summary 2017

All veterans & service member-related bills passed by the Legislature & signed into law for 2017. #ialegis #iagov #iowanationalguard #military #veterans

The following bills were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor.

SF 373 – Code of Military Justice; statute of limitations expansion
HF 241 – County Commissions of Veterans Affairs administration of duties
HF 584 – Federal jurisdiction of Agent Orange claims

SF 373 is a recommendation from the Iowa Department of Public Defense, which gives members of the National Guard or a military reserve unit in another state who are employed in Iowa the same protections regarding nondiscrimination and reemployment as Iowa National Guard members.

The Iowa Code of Military Justice is amended to stipulate that Code section 29B.1 applies to members of the state military forces when they are performing National Guard duty or state active duty. A military offense committed by one member of the state military forces during travel to or from their duty location or during intervals between consecutive periods of duty against another member, and there is a direct relationship between the offense and military membership, is subject to state military criminal jurisdiction.

The bill also changes the statute of limitations, unless otherwise provided by section 29B.44, to five years for desertion in time of peace or any other offense under the Code, subject to trial by court martial. This is increased from three years for desertion in time of peace or perjury, and two years for any other offense of the Code, subject to trial by court martial. Dismissed military criminal charges may be refiled within 180 days.
[3/08: 49-0 (Chelgren excused)]


HF 241 prevents a county board of supervisors or county commission of veteran affairs from placing administration of the commission under any other agency. This was recommended by the Iowa State Association of Counties.
[4/6: 49-0 (Bertrand excused)]


HF 584 repeals obsolete sections of Iowa Code Chapter 36 relating to duties of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs in reporting exposure to Agent Orange. The 1991 federal Agent Orange Act established a presumption of service connection. It authorized the Veterans Administration to contract with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences to review scientific evidence on exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam military operations, and to report diseases suspected to be associated with exposure. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs now receives and processes veterans’ claims for exposure to Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants and herbicides.
[4/6: 49-0 (Bertrand excused)]