Dept. Of Veteran Affairs Seeks New Funding

The new head of Wisconsin’s Department of Veterans Affairs said she will no longer rely on veterans nursing homes to fund the agency’s programs.  Secretary-designee Mary Kolar, appointed by Governor Tony Evers, said she is actively seeking new streams of funding to pay for the state’s benefits programs and its health care employees. The state has consistently funded veterans agency administrative salaries and some programs with money generated from the three nursing homes it runs.  Those homes are the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls and the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove.  Tens of millions of dollars have been transferred from the veterans homes over the last decade, and the state is set to transfer millions more through 2020-21.  Both political parties have endorsed the practice, but Kolar, who served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years, said it is not sustainable.