Tuesday, Gubernatorial Candidate Curtis Coleman announced his plans to enhance Arkansas' services to veterans. The businessman also announced the launch of his campaign's "Military & Veterans Affairs Coalition." According to Coleman's website, the organization was formed to ensure veterans have a prominent "seat at the table" for his campaign.
In an interview with KATV on Wednesday, Coleman said the benefits the state offers to Veterans simply don't go far enough. "We do good things for veterans, especially disabled veteransbut we don't do things like provide college credit for military experience. And sometimes, through the process of military service, our veterans get extraordinary training for a trade like electrician, welding, or the use of machines. We give them no credit in the licensing process. So if they come to Arkansas and they have all this credit in the military servicethey have to start from scratch. Those are some of the things we need to change."
Coleman says he was upset last year when they found out last year that the veterans' home in Little Rock was so unsafe that veterans had to move out.
As far as his Bill Halter's education proposal called the Arkansas Promise, Coleman says the plan has fundamental problems. "He's talking about this additional scholarship fund costing another $50 to 75 million dollars. And he wasn't specific about where that money would come from. He said it wouldn't be tax increases but he also said that some of the tax cuts we're looking at could pay for it. So if you don't get a tax cut you're expected to get, fundamentally that's a tax increase. So there will be a tax increase."
Coleman believes the state needs to create a more prosperous economy. "We need to change the anti-business, job-unfriendly tax code in Arkansas. Let average Arkansans prosper and have to opportunity and the ability to send their children to school instead of depending on the government to prove that even more."