Gov. Walker signs Assembly Bill honoring fallen soldiers

MAYVILLE (WITI) -- Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 166 in Mayville Thursday, June 27th, which honors the ultimate sacrifices of Wisconsin service members who have died in or as a result of combat by exempting their military income from state income taxation.

Assembly Bill 166 creates an individual income tax exemption for Wisconsin service members who die in a combat zone or as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred in a combat zone.  The exemption applies to the year in which the service member dies.  The exemption applies beginning with the 2013 tax year.

“This legislation sends an important message of gratitude to fallen service members and their families,” Governor Walker said.  “The bravest among us shouldn’t be required to pay Wisconsin state income tax when they’ve already paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and they are solemn reminders that freedom is never free.  The bill passed both houses of the State Legislature with unanimous support, and I’m proud to sign it into law.  I thank Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) for their leadership on this legislation.” 

Joining Governor Walker in Mayville Thursday were Andrew and Laura Johnson, the parents of fallen hero First Lieutenant David Johnson.  The Johnsons inspired the state to act after First Lieutenant Johnson died in Afghanistan in January of 2012 after injuries suffered while encountering an improvised explosive device during a patrol.

Assembly Bill 166 passed on a vote of 97-0, and its companion Senate Bill 147 passed with a vote of 33-0.