Lt. Gov. and Democratic candidate for governor Mike Cooney has released an outline of a plan to help support veterans.
According to a news release sent by the campaign, Montana has one of the highest per-capita veteran rates in the nation. The state is home to nearly 100,000 veterans, or roughly 1-in-10 Montanans.
The plan is called "Supporting America's Heroes" and covers areas of Health Care, Suicide Prevention, Jobs, Education, and Quality of Life.
The plan includes:
- increasiong broadband connectivity across Montana, including rural Montana, where up to three-quarters of Montana’s veteran population resides, who increasingly rely on telemedicine services to receive health care treatment.
- Creating a Veteran Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Council. staffed with state, federal, local, and Tribal stakeholders including mental health experts, veteran service organizations, and the Montana National Guard.
Increase the apprenticeship tax credit to $1,500 for veterans ($1,000 for non-veterans) to incentivize employers to create good-paying apprenticeship jobs and develop an initiative to formalize military skills and training as equivalent to applicable Montana vocations and workforce development.
- Strengthen authorization and acceptance of VA education benefits for curriculum and programs, including services and benefits
- Compile and make available to hunting license donors a list of approved and qualified organizations by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, including programs for disabled veterans, from which to choose their donation
- Study and address wage and benefit losses from civilian job when ordered to State Active Duty to provide our National Guard members equal protections as provided while serving on Federal Active Duty
- Streamline Occupational Licensing reciprocity for military family members who have secured professional licenses in previous states
You can read the full plan HERE