My dad, a Marine Corps veteran, called me during the Bush administration to tell me he found out they decided not to tell veterans about their benefits. It was a way Republicans could save money. A true story. My dad wasn't much for doctors, and never really used VA health services, but this really affected him.
If he were alive today I know just what he'd say about the states Republican betrayal of our returning vets. Not only will veteran service officers and their offices eventually stop getting paid through state grants, but veterans will not know or have easy access to the services they were promised. Money saved folks. WPR:
County veterans service offices provide everything from counseling to making vets aware of benefits available at the state and federal level. They used to get block grants from the state, but now, they have to apply for reimbursement under a change made in the last (2015-17) state budget.And in another sign of really bad Republican bill writing:
Kevin Johnson, the county veterans service officer for Ozaukee County, said, "The biggest frustration for us is there's no clear guidance on what the criteria for reimbursement are or, more importantly, how to document the expenses."This example of big government Republican bureaucracy should break the myth of getting government out of the way forever:
"The way it's now structured, we have to apply two times a year and it's becoming so onerous, the documentation requirement is so onerous that it's just cost prohibitive for us even to request the funds" Critics say state money should support veterans directly, not administrative costs. The state budget change will eventually phase out salaries for the offices.No salaries, no administrative cost. That would mean no service officers, no veteran direction, no use of benefits, and money saved for the state.
And what about the state Department of Veterans Affairs, I assume they're rushing in to help?
The Department of Veterans Affairs didn't return a request for comment. A sampling of 30 counties showed 10 veteran office grant requests were denied entirely. Fourteen were denied in part.