Governor Scott Walker signs five bills aimed at improving the lives of veterans

WAUSAU/DE PERE -- Governor Scott Walker on Monday, April 25th signed into law five bills that the Governor's Office says will provide greater resources and tools for the state's veterans -- to make it easier for them to gain employment.

Walker signed three bills (Assembly Bill 693, Senate Bill 418, Senate Bill 575) into law in Wausau, at the American Legion Post 10, the Governor's Office said in a statement.

Two bills (Senate Bill 419 and Assembly Bill 441) were signed into law in De Pere -- at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Wisconsin Headquarters.

Walker said this in the statement:

“We owe Wisconsin’s veterans a debt of gratitude for their service to our country. The bills we’re signing into law today help us properly honor our veterans, provide greater resources and assistance for Wisconsin’s veterans and their families, and support veteran businesses and entrepreneurs throughout our state.  They also help our veterans use their skills to find employment by creating a council to assist state agencies in the recruitment and employment of veterans and further enabling the Disabled American Veterans organization to effectively incentivize the hiring of disabled veterans.”

In the statement, the Governor's Office provided brief descriptions of each of the five new laws:

Assembly Bill 693, now Act 382, addresses the issue of unclaimed cremated remains of veterans and their dependents and allows for action on future unclaimed veteran’s remains to be properly laid to rest at a Wisconsin Veterans Cemetery in a timely and dignified manner.  This legislation was authored by Representative Ken Skowronski (R – Franklin) and Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls).

Senate Bill 418, now Act 383, authorizes the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs to provide grant funding annually to nonprofits in Wisconsin which provide financial assistance or other services to veterans and their families.  The bill was authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative James Edming (R – Glen Flora).

Senate Bill 575, now Act 384, creates official logos designed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) for veteran-owned businesses and disabled veteran-owned businesses in Wisconsin to promote those entities on and via other electronic media.  The bill was authored by Senator Roger Roth (R – Appleton) and Representative Evan Goyke (D – Milwaukee).

Senate Bill 419, now Act 385, eliminates the current veteran employment grant program and replaces is with a more effective employment and entrepreneurship grant program.  The bill was authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R – Marathon) and Representative Nancy VanderMeer (R – Tomah).

Assembly Bill 441, now Act 386, creates the Wisconsin Veterans Employment Initiative program to increase the number of veterans holding permanent state government positions and additionally creates a Council on Veterans Employment. The bill was authored by Representative Scott Allen (R – Waukesha) and Senator Howard Marklein (R – Spring Green).