The Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. Photo Credit: WI Dept. of Veterans Affairs
The Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. Photo Credit: WI Dept. of Veterans Affairs

MADISON- The Republican-led legislature is nearly a month overdue on passing a budget bill, and in the meantime, crucial programs need funding. An audit of the Wisconsin’s Veterans Home at King, released in May, showed that the Department of Veterans Affairs funneled money away from the home. This transfer of money away from King occurred as the home was understaffed and maintaining poor conditions.

Now, four Democratic lawmakers have requested emergency funding for Wisconsin’s veterans programs. The effort is being led by Rep. Katrina Shankland, from Steven’s Point. She and three other colleagues sent a letter to Dan Zimmerman, Wisconsin’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs, asking the Secretary to work with the legislature’s finance committee to release funds immediately.

Gretchen Brown at Wisconsin Public Radio reports:

“We want immediate action on investing in our veterans, so we requested that the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs file a 13.10 request with the committee on finance,” said state Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, one of the authors of the letter. “What that does is essentially allows us to release the funds immediately, which we believe is not only necessary, but urgent.”

According to The Capital Times, a May audit of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King in Waupaca County found the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs transferred millions of dollars away from the home, while the facility remained understaffed and in need of improvements.

Shankland said the audit shows serious issues at the home that require urgent improvement.

“There has been questionable drinking water … there have been moldy walls, stained floors, potentially unsafe equipment,” she said. “We believe that when it comes to the water supply, the electrical substation replacement, and just the capital improvements that are needed at King, we need to release those dollars right now, and that comes about to $12 million to make some improvements at King. And we think there should be even more than that.”

Read more at Wisconsin Public Radio.