Like all Wisconsinites, Tony is grateful for the service and sacrifice of our state’s veterans and believes we must do all that we can to honor their service and protect the benefits they have earned.
Unfortunately, in the past eight years Scott Walker has raided money from Wisconsin veterans homes and transformed the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs (WDVA) into a political tool, instead of an agency dedicated to veteran services.
No place is Scott Walker’s lack of leadership more evident than at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, where administrators cut services and failed to address staffing issues, while transferring out millions of dollars. We can’t repeat the failures at King ever again. Our veterans deserve the highest quality care and the dignity that comes with it.
While the King Veteran Home continues to face many shortages, Walker is proposing to shift another $36 million dollars away from veterans homes. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has stated this will place the homes in a $19 million dollar deficit by July of 2021.
The WDVA should be focused on providing excellent services to deserving Wisconsin veterans. Wisconsin can fund the WDVA, the Veterans Trust Fund, and our veterans homes by restoring sensible leadership.
As Governor, Tony will:
- Oppose all efforts to transfer money out of our veteran retirement homes to backfill Republican budget deficits
- Convene a blue-ribbon commission to address the solvency issues facing the Veterans Trust Fund
- Restore independence and professionalism to the Department of Veteran Affairs and empower the citizen Board of Veteran Affairs to help shape policy on behalf of veterans throughout Wisconsin
- Increase the diversity of voices providing input on WDVA policies to include more veterans of color, Guard and Reserve members, and post-9/11 veterans
- Allow our Guard and Reserve members to use our veterans retirement homes and to take full advantage of the Wisconsin GI Bill
- Protect our veterans from predatory for-profit colleges which prey on our servicemen and servicewomen, leaving them saddled with debt and no measurable increase in career opportunities
- Restore the volunteer committees, such as the County Veterans Service Officer Council, which provided the WDVA valuable input on policies affecting veterans