Commander's Communique for July 1, 2013
State Budget Invests in Wisconsin’s Veterans
Includes Support For Camp and Legion Service Office
Taking care of Wisconsin veterans is a top priority in the budget developed by Governor Walker and the
Wisconsin legislature. The budget continues Wisconsin’s commitment to the veterans and their families who
have given so much for our state and nation. The budget contains some important funding initiatives that
directly affect The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin. The budget which awaits Governor Walker’s
- Increases funding to Camp American Legion which continues to provide free services to military members and their families suffering from physical or psychological conditions.
- Increases funding to The American Legion Service Office at the VA Regional Headquarters in Milwaukee which provides assistance to veterans and their families.
- Extends the Veterans and Surviving Spouse Property Tax Credit to unremarried surviving spouses whose husband or wife died of a service-connected disability.
- Improves the Veterans Trust Fund long-term solvency by adding an additional $5.3 million of state taxpayer resources.
- Improves the Wisconsin GI Bill by eliminating the arbitrary time limit for veterans with at least 5 years of residency.
- Adds more than 100 new full-time direct care staff at Wisconsin Veterans’ homes to ensure our aging heroes and their families receive the care they need and deserve.
- Exempts state veterans' homes from the nursing home bed tax, which saves the homes an estimated $4 million over the biennium.
- Makes funds for Military Funeral Honors sum sufficient to ensure resources are available now and into the future.
- Ensures affordable access to the state’s natural resources by building on existing programs, which provide low-cost or free hunting and fishing licenses to disabled veterans and active duty service members on leave. The Governor recommends issuing vouchers to returning service members to redeem for free hunting and fishing licenses within a year of returning from active duty and supports providing a free one-year state parks and trails pass to active duty military personnel on leave. Additionally, the budget waives state park and trail admission fees for all veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day weekends.