By Katrina Shankland, Press Release for Urban Milwaukee
MADISON – This afternoon, Governor Walker announced his vetoes for the 2017-19 state budget. Included is his veto of a budget motion that would have provided additional legislative oversight over the Veterans Trust Fund and State Veterans Homes.
The motion, which instates Joint Finance Committee approval of Veterans Trust Fund transfers and requires DVA to submit accountability reports to the legislature, was passed by the Committee on a unanimous bipartisan vote. Governor Walker claimed the DVA reports would be “administratively burdensome” as a justification for his veto. In response, Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), a member of the Joint Finance Committee, released the following statement:
“Time and time again, the Department of Veterans Affairs has prioritized cost-cutting and pet programs over veterans home residents. In recent years, the department has raided $33 million from state veterans homes to support the non-solvent Veterans Trust Fund, impacting quality of care at facilities like the Veterans Home at King.
“While the budget motion did not accomplish all the accountability measures that Democrats have advocated for, it was a step in the right direction. I’m disappointed Governor Walker was unwilling to take even one step forward on an issue so critical to qualify of life for our veterans.”