George W. Bush asked the veterans administration to not tell vets about their promised benefits so the nation could save money. True. Veterans in Republican states were also forgotten until something horrible happened, even after whistle-blowers were trying to get their attention.
So I wasn't surprised when Republican State Sen. Van Wanggaard put out a bill to save money on the backs of veterans. Blow back was immediate. WISC:
Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, said a portion of a bill circulated for co-sponsorship last week related to county veterans service officers will be re-drafted.
Currently, every county in the state is required to employ a county veterans service officer. The bill changed language in state statutes saying counties "shall" have a CVSO to that they "may" have one. It also repealed language requiring counties to provide space for the veteran's office.
Wanggaard isn't done with veterans, and he isn't done trying to attack their services, because he's proposing another one of those phony task forces that won't really listen to anyone. It just delays the inevitable.
Wanggaard said after concerns from veteran's advocates, he said they're going back to the drawing board and create a task force to study it further with all the participants," Wanggaard said. The initial goal of the bill, Wanggaard said was to allow consolidation among counties with smaller veteran populations in order to save money and distribute resources more efficiently.
But Wanggaard left out one important fact; consolidation failed:
Bill Rosenau, CVSO for Waushara County and president of the County Veterans Service Officers Association, said only two counties have explored consolidation. Buffalo and Pepin counties had been combining services for the last year, until last week when it was decided the workload was too great to continue.