ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -
Missouri's Show-Me Heroes Program Reaches 5,000 Pledged Employers
On November 11, 2016, we honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States and Canada, and vow never to forget the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in service to our countries.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 11, 2016 - In recognition of Veterans Day, Gov. Jay Nixon today thanked the men and women of Missouri who have served in the nation's military for their commitment to protecting America's freedom and prosperity.
The Governor also announced that Missouri's Show-Me Heroes initiative, which encourages Missouri employers to hire veterans, has just surpassed 5,000 pledged employers.
"Our nation was founded on the principles of freedom, opportunity and a commitment to one another - principles which have been fought for and defended time and time again by Missouri's veterans," Gov. Nixon said. "This Veterans Day, we again express our deepest appreciation to those who have served, and renew our commitment to ensuring that Missouri remains a great place for veterans to live, work and raise a family. I also want to thank the more than 5,000 businesses and employers in Missouri that have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge to make hiring veterans a priority."
The Show-Me Heroes program was launched by Gov. Nixon in 2010 to encourage Missouri employers to hire veterans, and to recognize the efforts of those employers. To date, more than 8,300 veterans have been hired by the more than 5,000 Missouri businesses that have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge.
The Show-Me State is home to more than 494,000 military veterans and supporting Missouri's men and women in uniform, both active-duty members of the military and veterans, has been a top priority of Gov. Nixon's administration. He is one of the original members of the President's Council of Governors, which works closely with defense and national security officials on matters related to the National Guard and homeland defense. As Governor, he has traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait four times to meet with military and civilian leaders and visit with troops.
In 2009, Gov. Nixon signed legislation that has phased out the state tax on their military pensions. For the tax returns that will be filed for the 2016 tax year, military pension recipients will be able to exclude 100 percent of their qualified military pensions from their Missouri taxable income. To date, this legislation is estimated to have saved Missouri veterans more than $64.5 million.
Missouri also has become an attractive location for retired military veterans, many of whom are now active in the civilian workforce. In 2009, Gov. Nixon signed legislation phasing out the state tax on veterans' military pensions, with the tax eliminated this year.
In 2012, Gov. Nixon worked across the aisle to provide a dedicated funding source for Missouri's seven veterans homes, which house and care for more than 1,300 military veterans. As the number of veterans from the Vietnam and Korean wars age, the number of veterans on a waiting list for those facilities has increased.
Last year, the Governor also signed into law three bills providing $33 million for improvement projects at the state's seven existing veterans homes, located in Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mexico, Mount Vernon, St. James, St. Louis and Warrensburg. Approximately $700,000 also was made available for improvements to state cemeteries for veterans in Jacksonville, St. James and Springfield.
Earlier this year, Gov. Nixon announced that the planning, design and site selection for a new state veterans' home will move forward, following the General Assembly's adoption of the Governor's budget recommendation to provide $500,000 needed to get the project underway.
The budget for the current fiscal year includes the Governor's recommendation to provide $6.3 million for the construction of Columbarium walls at the state veterans' cemeteries at Higginsville and Springfield. Columbarium walls are designed to hold individuals' cremated remains.
This past June, the Governor signed Senate Bill 968, which establishes that any person currently serving in the Missouri National Guard or in the reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be considered an in-state resident for the purpose of paying tuition at any four-year institution or an in-district resident for tuition at a public two-year institution.
To learn more about services and opportunities for Missouri's veterans, please visit MO.gov
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