On the eve of his biennial budget's unveiling, Gov. Scott Walker revealed $43.3 million in veteran-related spending proposals.

The proposals announced Tuesday would make permanent tax credits for hiring disabled veterans, expand the state's GI Bill, significantly increase staffing at the state's largest veterans' nursing home and add $5.3 million of taxpayer money to the Veterans Trust Fund.

The $5.3 million toward the Veterans Trust Fund would improve the fund's long-term solvency, said Cullen Werwie, a spokesman for the governor.

Walker's proposal to add 110 full-time direct care staff at the 721-bed Veterans Home at King comes in response to large increases in the number of residents. The larger number of patients led to tens of thousands of hours of overtime last year, and the union that represents most direct-care employees has argued that quality of care is jeopardized when hiring falls behind new admissions.

Tuesday's proposal would also eliminate time limits for spouses and dependent children to use GI Bill benefits and would expand the program to veterans with at least five years of Wisconsin residency.

Werwie said the governor's plan to make the Disabled Veteran Employment Tax Credit permanent would help injured veterans find jobs by providing incentives to employers.

Walker will introduce his 2013-15 budget Wednesday.

(1) comment


Walker Proposes throwing money at any Group He feels may vote Against Him.

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