Wisconsin military veterans continue to be a priority in the state budget.
Despite state and federal funding shortfalls, Democratic State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) says lawmakers will find a way to support veterans.
"We make a values decision when we pass a budget. And it's important for us to prioritize what's important to us and also to recognize that there is a debt in terms of the public service of our service members."
The chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee is a Navy veteran whose father was also a vet. Sullivan says the subject of veterans benefits is timely as we see a whole new generation of returning veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. He touts the quality of veterans services in our state, including his role in helping to protect funding to Wisconsin's GI bill.
"We're talking about folks who have gone and placed their lives on the line in order to protect the homefront and I think that all of us who have had the privilege of staying at home should recognize that service. And in terms of that values discussion, make that a top priority."
Sullivan says he's focusing on better ways of reaching the younger veterans, because some of the old methods are no longer effective in informing them of available benefits.
Many veterans in the state took the opportunity Tuesday to discuss their priorities with their elected officials, including veterans homes and health care, during "Wisconsin Veterans in the Capitol Day."