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Veterans give mixed review on Gov. Walker’s budget proposal

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Dropping prevailing wage law will negatively impact vets.

It’s a mixed bag for veterans in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s spending plan for the next two years.  

Veterans groups in the state like the additional money the governor has planned for some of their issues. They are not, however, fond of another part of his budget – the part that gets rid of prevailing wage laws.

That will disproportionately hit veterans, says Wisconsin American Legion commander Dan Seehafer. He says many, recent vets especially, work in those jobs impacted by prevailing wage laws, and many will lose ground economically with promised changes. 

“Obviously, we’re not angry or anything like that,” Seehafer said. “I guess, we could say we’re concerned and, maybe, at some point, a little confused.”

Seehafer added that Losing the wage law will also hurt the construction trades and, by extension, veterans. Around 2,000 of whom risk losing their jobs if prevailing wage laws are dumped in the state.  

“I have to be honest,” Seehafer said, “the research is out there and our veterans are going into construction professions.” 

Seehafer cited a study that found a disproportionate percentage of construction workers are veterans in Wisconsin.  

Seehafer also said the recent Marquette study found that repealing prevailing wage laws would lead to veterans collectively losing over a $100 million in income, with hundreds falling into poverty by next year. 

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