(Warwick) – As Mayor, Allan has been at the forefront of listening to, and caring for his local veterans. Under his leadership, Cranston became the first community in Rhode Island to provide a property tax exemption for its disabled veterans.
But despite its famed Naval history, the state of our state in Rhode Island for veterans is a travesty. Currently, Rhode Island is ranked the worst in the country for job opportunities, and worst for access to VA health facilities per veteran. It is also one of only nine states to still tax military pensions.
So here’s what Allan is going to do:
Make Military Pensions Tax Exempt
Over a two year period, we’ll phase out the tax on military pensions. We want these leaders to stay in our state and invest money in local businesses, not hand it over directly to state government.
Expand Locations for our Veterans Affairs Offices
Even though Rhode Island is a small state, public transportation difficulties can make it hard to get around. While it’s great to have a Veterans Affairs office with people who care, if you can’t get there, it does little good. We’ll expand these services from one office to three, and look to place them in places where vets visit naturally, like community health centers. Outside of the one in Warwick, we’ll look to add one up north, and one in the East Bay.
Expand Job Opportunities for Veterans
Currently, there are many national programs designed specifically for veterans that simply haven’t blossomed in Rhode Island.
Allan gets to cut the ribbons on so many small businesses in Cranston, and recently there’s been more veterans creating their own job opportunities by opening their own ventures. Many of Allan’s economic initiatives like cutting the sales tax, instituting a low fee guarantee on state permits and licenses, and instituting a business concierge program will help our veterans. Additionally, entrepreneurship training courses like Boots to Business, an SBA initiative currently only offered through the Center for Women & Enterprise, needs to be more available.
In the world of education, programs like Troops to Teachers can be helpful in taking veterans with real life STEM and high-tech construction experiences, and translating them into careers as teachers in career and tech schools.
We’ll also ensure that veterans hiring preferences in state government and at the universities are in place and being adhered to.