One lawmaker plans to continue with Wisconsin 's tradition of offering the best benefits to our veterans. In his role as the new chairman of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, State Representative Terry Musser praises the Wisconsin Department of Veteran's Affairs for leading the nation in taking care of our veterans. "And I think probably the last two budgets we have — Wisconsin has – really taken the lead in veterans affairs benefits and the benefits for the families."
Some of those benefits include Veterans Secretary John Scocos 's ten year solvency plan to keep the Veterans Trust Fund alive, the property tax credit for disabled vets, the Mission Welcome Home program and Supermarket events — informing veterans of all the benefits available to them and reintegrating them back into their communities. Representative Musser says he's looking forward to doing his part to not only continue those benefits, but also improve them. The Republican from Black River Falls cites the state's new GI Bill as the best example of progressive veterans legislation. "Yeah, this is probably the biggest change in Wisconsin veterans benefits since WWII, the original introduction of the GI bill. And that's where this session I'm hoping to continue on, you know, with that."
With Secretary Scocos by his side, Governor Jim Doyle signed the new GI bill into law this past Memorial Day. In part, it offers 100-percent tuition remission for veterans. Now, as head of the combined Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, Musser hopes to work with the Joint Finance Committee, the legislature and the governor to figure out how to use general-purpose revenue to pay for that education so other students don't have to flip the bill via higher tuition rates. Musser is proud to work with our Veterans Department, saying Scocos and his staff are doing a great job for our veterans. "Yeah, I think they are. I mean when you look at ah, you know, the Department – John Scocos – ah, the Governor, the legislature, as a group we did tremendous good for veterans."
Musser says he doesn't look at veterans as Democrats or Republicans, but as military men and women who need our support. He says our state has put partisanship aside for their sake.