- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A group of Iowa employers is pledging to hire 2,500 veterans over the next five years as part of Gov. Terry Branstad’s effort to make the state more attractive to military retirees.

The Iowa Business Council announced the goal Monday at Branstad’s weekly news conference. Branstad says businesses in the group include HyVee grocery stores, the MidAmerican Energy Company and Principal Financial Group.

Branstad has made support for veterans a priority this year, with an effort he has dubbed “Home Base Iowa.” He is seeking to connect veterans with jobs, education and housing opportunities in Iowa.

One part of Branstad’s plan is to exempt military pensions from state income tax. Lawmakers have embraced the proposal and legislation to change tax law is moving rapidly through the Legislature.

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