The Iowa House has unanimously voted to increase the annual budget for grants from the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund by more than a third.

The grants are to help low income veterans cover unexpected expenses like car repairs. The $500,000 allotment for the current budgeting year ran out last fall. Representative Martin Graber of Fort Madison says there’d be $800,000 in grants available each year if the bill becomes law.

“Anytime there’s an issue that deals with veterans I’m for it as long as it’s fiscally responsible and does the right thing,” Graber says. “I believe this bill does those things.”

Earlier this week Governor Reynolds used her authority to transfer $440,000 in federal pandemic relief funds to finance Veterans Fund grants that had been approved, but not awarded.

O. Kay Henderson