Walker Signs Six Bills Supporting Veterans
For the City-Times
Governor Scott Walker signed six bills into law today assisting veterans and encouraging thriving veteran businesses and quality veteran homes.
“Our veterans have offered their time and talents in the service of our state and our country,” Governor Walker said while visiting the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. “I am honored to sign these bills, which will assist them in their transition back home and ensure they receive the top medical care they deserve. Those who protect our freedom should have every opportunity for prosperity and independence in their own lives.”
“Over the past three years, we have taken deliberate steps to improve the quality of life for Wisconsin’s veterans,” said John A. Scocos, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. “The legislation signed today will give us additional tools and resources that will allow us to continue to assist Wisconsin’s heroes.”
Assembly Bill 733 – amends the 2013-15 Authorized State Building Program to include the construction of the John R. Moses Skilled Nursing Facility at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. The project will replace the current, outdated 200 bed facility. Representative Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca) and Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) authored the bill which passed the Assembly on a voice vote and unanimously passed the Senate; it is Act 187.
Assembly Bill 244 – establishes the use of special license plates displaying the words, “In God We Trust,” and makes a one-time appropriation to the Department of Transportation to cover the costs associated with these new license plates. Fees from the purchase of these plates will support the Veterans Trust Fund and the care of those residing in Wisconsin veterans homes. Representative Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) and Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) authored the bill which passed the Assembly 91-0 and the Senate 30-2; it is Act 188.
Assembly Bill 734 – clarifies the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs’ administrative code regarding the duties of the Board of Veterans Affairs; reimbursement of veterans’ tuition at tribal colleges; documentation for eligibility to veterans homes; operation of veterans homes; eligibility and procedural requirements for veterans home loans, veterans personal loans, county veterans service grants, and American Indian veterans grants; and funeral honors, burial, and disinterment of veterans. The bill also increases the income threshold for the Aid to Needy Veterans Grant program from 130 percent to 180 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Representative Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) and Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) authored the bill which passed the Assembly and the Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 189.
Assembly Bill 805 – enables the Department of Veterans Affairs to award grants to non-profit organizations to provide assistance to veterans and their families. Small, independent, non-profits that offer non-traditional therapies to veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) often struggle to obtain funding to offer the services at no cost to the veteran. The bill allows the DVA to provide up to $250,000 in grants to these and other non-profits serving our veterans and their families. Representative Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) and Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) authored the bill which passed the Assembly 96-0 and the Senate 32-1; it is Act 190.
Senate Bill 330 – allows eligible state employees to purchase years of creditable military service within the Wisconsin Retirement System, thereby encouraging state employees to return to state service after an active duty tour. Representative Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) and Senator Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) authored the bill which passed the Assembly and the Senate on a voice vote; it is Act 191.
Senate Bill 370 – encourages state agencies to contract with companies owned by veterans with disabilities to assist veterans in becoming successful job creators. Senator Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee) and Representative Thomas Weatherston (R-Racine) authored the bill which passed both the Senate and the Assembly on a voice vote; it is Act 192.