EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Gov. Evers announces veteran support in new budget proposal, applauds UWS for existing model

Gov. Evers pointed out the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s commitment to our service members
Gov. Tony Evers
Gov. Tony Evers(Northern News Now)
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 10:32 AM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Wisconsin’s Governor is hoping to put extra support behind the state’s more than 300,000 veterans in his latest budget proposal.

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday that his 2023-2025 budget would include several initiatives to support veteran employment, education, housing security, and mental health services.

This new plan builds on the $10 million from federal pandemic relief aid based on recommendations from the governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Veteran Opportunity last year.

Gov. Evers’s new budget proposal will include things like:

-Addressing veterans’ needs through providing $500,000 general purpose revenue to Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs to evaluate post-9/11 veteran needs arising from the increase in multiple deployments, higher survival rates, and longer-term use of skilled nursing.

-Doubling the amount of funding to County and Tribal Veterans Services Offices (CVSOs and TVSOs) by providing $843,600 annually for CVSOs and $253,000 annually for TVSOs. CVSOs and TVSOs play a vital role in connecting veterans to needed services.

-Expanding access to the Assistance for Needy Veterans Grant program by including medical devices as an allowable expense under the program and increasing the annual and lifetime caps for support under this program.

-Increasing eligibility for the Veterans and Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit by extending eligibility to those with a disability rating of at least 70 percent, providing an additional $43.2 million in tax relief to claimants over the biennium.

-$450,000 general funds annually to assist employers that hire veterans who are transitioning to civilian life. The funding will help employers provide training and wrap-around services to veterans.

-Creating a veteran rental assistance program funded at $1 million each fiscal year.

-Providing $500,000 each year of the biennium for the University of Wisconsin Missing-in-Action Recovery and Identification Project for missions to recover and identify Wisconsin veterans who went missing during deployment.

Gov. Evers says he also would like to allocate $2.8 million to enable University of Wisconsin System campuses to provide services tailored to veterans, military personnel, and their families.

During an exclusive interview with Northern News Now, Gov. Evers pointed out the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s commitment to our service members and how he hopes their model could become a blueprint for the rest of the state.

“We’re putting in the neighborhood of $3 million to help the Superiors of the world that are already doing a good job to advance their good work but also get the other campuses going, so there’s someone on every campus in the state of Wisconsin that connects directly with veterans,” said Gov. Evers.

He also is working to establish Veterans Day as a state holiday. Wisconsin is the only state that does not observe Veterans Day as a state holiday.

Gov. Evers will be announcing his full budget proposal sometime next week.

The evening of Thursday February 9th, Northern News Now, we’ll take a closer look at how UWS is already supporting veterans in our community and how this money could help them take those efforts even further.