Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Supporting Veterans

by Tim Griffin, Candidate for Arkansas Lt Governor: I recently had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Arkansas Veterans Coalition to get an update on their legislative agenda. Many of you are familiar with the great work that organization is doing. The Arkansas Veterans Coalition represents virtually all of the veteran organizations in the State to present a united front to our legislators and outside organizations to push for needed reforms affecting the 250,000 veterans in this State. I want you to know that I fully endorse their 2014 legislative agenda, including:
  • Boost workforce and economic development through state income tax exemption for military retired pay.
  • Ensure statewide veteran access to Veteran Treatment Courts.
  • Eliminate residency prerequisites for in-state or local tuition for service members, veterans and their families.
  • Direct the programming, planning, operations and oversight of a veterans’ state home network based on projected needs of Arkansas’ most at-risk veterans. And I will advocate for these initiatives to help our veterans. 
Growing good-paying jobs for Arkansans remains my primary focus as we look past the November elections. Veterans have been particularly hard hit by our sluggish economy with veteran unemployment higher than the general population. I remain firmly convinced that Arkansas needs fundamental, permanent changes in our state laws, policies, and regulations to create an environment where we can more easily grow jobs and compete. A recent study has Arkansas ranked 47th out of 50 states in job creation. That is unacceptable! We can and must do better! The question is how do we grow more jobs, and I have some specific ideas. While I am all for providing incentives to attract jobs, I believe the only way to increase job growth significantly and compete with other states for jobs is to change our permanent laws and policies in a number of areas. Here are a few:
  • The tax burden on Arkansas families and businesses is too great, especially compared to other states. We must enact bold tax reform to help us compete and grow jobs.  
  • We must demand a top-to-bottom review of each and every state agency, its mission, its structure, its budget and its regulations to determine what it does well, what it does poorly and how it can do a better job of working for and with Arkansans. 
  • We must not tell young Arkansans that the only path of excellence in high school is the pre-college route and lump everyone else in the “other” category. I went to college and believe in college, but not everyone wants to go to a four-year college or university. We need to develop an alternative path of excellence that educates and trains highly skilled workers, starting in junior high school and continuing in a two-year college or technical school. Some communities are already filling this void, but this must be done in a statewide coordinated effort. This will help attract more jobs, especially in industries that can’t find the workers they need. 
We have six weeks to go until the November election! Thanks for volunteering to be part of our Tim’s Troops veteran network and helping spread the word among our veteran community. Please forward this letter to another veteran you know and ask them to join our network to influence the future direction of Arkansas. As a solid block of voters, our veterans can have a significant influence on bringing common sense, conservative solutions to this great state that we call home. Let’s stand shoulder-to-shoulder as veterans and put a conservative veteran in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in November! As a veteran, I pledge to work for you as we move Arkansans forward!  

Tags: Arkansas, Tim Griffin, candidate, Lt Governor, 2014 election,  veterans,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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