Letter from Rep. Petryk: State Legislature Advocacy Award
Recently, it was my distinct honor to be acknowledged by the American Veterans (AMVETS) Department of Wisconsin for my leadership as Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Veterans as well as my legislative work on veteran’s issues. As part of this acknowledgement, the distinguished members of AMVETS presented me with their State Legislative Advocacy Award.
This session, I worked tirelessly to help those who have selflessly sacrificed for our state and country to have better lives at home and at work. Part of my work this session included the following:
2013 WI Act 190: This law provides the Secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) the opportunity to use existing money to support various veterans’ organizations around the state. Under the law, the Secretary is allowed to provide up to $250,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations so that they may provide financial assistance or other services to our state’s veterans.
2013 WI Act 191: This new law eliminates the unfair exclusion of veterans from buying years of creditable service in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). Prior to the signing of Senate Bill 330, other former federal employees who now work for the state of Wisconsin could buy into WRS, but for an unknown reason, veterans were excluded from this program. Buying years of creditable service is completely voluntary and the employee is required to pay the lump sum for their creditable years.
2013 Wisconsin Act 55: The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has the authority to give Purple Heart medal recipients the opportunity to purchase a discounted conservation patron license. This new state law requires the DNR to issue a conservation patron license to resident Purple Heart veterans for a reduced fee of $10. All non-resident Purple Heart veterans will receive a reduced fee of $161. This opportunity is available now for all Purple Heart medal recipients.
2013 Wisconsin Act 17: This law allows for the indication of veteran status on a state issued driver’s license or identification card. Any veteran wishing to have this indication added to their Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card can apply for this indication at their local Department of Motor Vehicles. Both the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Veterans Affairs showed their support for this new state law that will make verifying a veteran’s status easier when they apply for services and privileges.
For more information on veteran’s benefits in Wisconsin, please visit the DVA website at http://dva.state.wi.us/.
My sincerest appreciation and thanks to the AMVETS for this distinguished award and for their support during this session. My thanks also to all the veteran’s organizations and individuals who worked alongside myself and the Committee on Veterans to do what is best for our selfless men and women heroes of Wisconsin.