Despite the ailing economy, Wisconsin veterans needn't worry about their state benefits … yet.
At a capitol hearing, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs officials discuss the impact of Governor Jim Doyle's across-the-board budget cuts. Acting Secretary Ken Black understands his agency is no different than the others, and will have to survive without more money from the state. So, what about cuts?
"It probably won't hurt us that bad this biennium. But the next biennium is where it will become a very big problem for us. So no cuts this time around in terms of personnel but, you know, it's going to be a problem next biennium."
Black says Department heads realize they won't be getting their request for General Purpose Revenue — or GPR dollars, but fortunately, that's only a small part of the Veterans Agency budget.
"It comes from the Veterans Trust Fund and the Mortgage Loan Repayment Fund. So, our GPR dollars that we receive from the state is about 1.6% of our budget. So it's not very much at all."
Black says officials at the Veterans Department will have to start preparing and strategizing now for the next budget.