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Letter from Rep. Petryk: Veterans Legislation passess both houses

It is with great delight that I am able to inform you that Senate Bill (SB) 45/ Assembly Bill (AB) 56, which I authored, passed both the Senate and the Assembly this week. This legislation, which I originally wrote during the 2011-12 session, will allow a veteran to choose if they would like their status as a veteran to be placed on their driver's license or state identification card.

For our state's veterans, having proof of military service accessible at all times is very important. Carrying a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, also known as a DD-214, is neither always convenient nor safe. This document contains sensitive information that most would not want others to see or have access to. Allowing veterans the option of listing their status on a state driver's license or identification card will alleviate the need to carry a DD-214 while still allowing them the ability to obtain benefits for their service in our armed forces.

We are now one step closer to this important legislation becoming law as SB 45/ AB 56 passed both houses of the legislature this week with strong bi-partisan support. The Governor, who has already expressed his enthusiastic support, will likely sign SB 45/ AB 56 into law in the very near future. This bill is a small change in law, but it is a big step towards improving the everyday quality of life for our veterans. This is a visible display of our support for their selfless sacrifice and a token of our appreciation for all that they did, and do, to defend our freedoms. Please remember to thank our veterans for their service!

Food Stamp Fraud Reform

This week, the Legislature voted on Assembly Bill (AB) 82, relating to trafficking FoodShare (food stamps) program benefits. This legislation will assist the better prosecution of those who commit fraud by trafficking food stamps.

Recently, the federal government passed legislation similar to AB 82 and this bill will bring Wisconsin in line with those rules making it a crime to buy, sell, steal, or exchange FoodShare benefits for cash, goods, or other items. This bill is important to the protection taxpayers in Wisconsin who support this action to ensure that their tax dollars are being used as intended.

AB 82 passed with strong bi-partisan support on a vote of 73 to 24. I am very pleased to see that Wisconsin will uphold the integrity of this program, supporting those who qualify and keeping certain individuals from abusing the program.

Durand's "Fresh Paint" Event Receives Tourism Grant

Earlier this week the "Fresh Paint" event, being held May 15-19 in Durand, received a $6,000 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Department of Tourism. This event will feature artists painting "en plein air" (outdoors) along the Chippewa River State Trail and local parks.

"Fresh Paint" patrons can enjoy local activities including bicycling on the Chippewa River State Trail, canoeing on the Chippewa River, and enjoying the newly completed riverfront enhancement. "Fresh Paint" is organized by Imagination Nation, Inc. and it is expected to attract 3,000 attendees. You can get more information about "Fresh Paint" at: