Governor Scott Walker says interested parties will meet to address confusion about how county services for Wisconsin veterans are to be paid for. During a stop in Stevens Point on Tuesday, Walker was asked to respond to a report by the Madison Capital Times, that a change in funding for county veterans services officers was leaving some counties unsure of how to get reimbursed for expenses.
Representatives from the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and the Governor’s Office plan to meet next week to address the issue, according to Walker’s office.
“We’ve facilitated a meeting with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to make sure that they’re all on the same wave length, and I think the key is they want to make sure that those offices are responsible for the services they provide,” Walker said.
AUDIO: Walker on veterans service office issue (1:06)
Veterans services officers are county employees, and provide a variety of services to veterans in all 72 counties. In past years the offices received state block grants, which could be used to cover a portion of salaries. A change in the most recent state budget requires them to apply for reimbursement.
The changes are outlined in an April, 2015 memorandum between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Counties Association, but according to the Capital Times, veterans advocates say the state has not enacted official rules on how to submit expenses or given specifics on what qualifies for reimbursement.