(MADISON, Wis.) – Military veterans today called upon the governor and legislative leaders to put politics aside and support family-sustaining wages and protect Wisconsin jobs for Wisconsin veterans..

Specifically, Wisconsin American Legion (WAL) leaders in a press conference and surrounded by more than 30 veterans called upon Governor Walker to reverse his intention to repeal Wisconsin’s long-standing Prevailing Wage Law. Repeal of the law, independent and peer-reviewed studies have concluded, will disproportionately and negatively impact veterans seeking careers in the construction industry and the family-supporting wages that come with them.

“This is absolutely a veterans’ issue,” said WAL Commander Daniel J. Seehafer. “We won’t sit idly by when thousands of jobs could be eliminated and millions of dollars in wages lost, we as veterans have a big problem with that.”

The Wisconsin American Legion Executive Committee recently adopted a Resolution calling for the State Legislature to adopt measures to ensure that veterans receive employment preference for work on State, County and Municipal contracts at wages equal to or above the local market rate as established by Federal wage standards – or Prevailing Wage.

“Governor Walker has traditionally been very supportive of veterans issues and perhaps he didn’t fully understand what a profound connection there is between the construction industry and veterans,” said David Kurtz, WAL State Adjutant. “Veterans want to continue serving their country and build critical infrastructure for their communities.”

Commander Seehafer understands that the Prevailing Wage Law is a “political issue” for some but says this issue rises above partisan politics. Seehafer thinks of the issue more as a question of “fairness” for veterans and the families they are trying to support.

2-2- 2-2 Wisconsin Veterans Seek Support for Family-Sustaining Wages

Seehafer said that those politicians calling for the repeal say it would somehow save taxpayers money in the long run, but he’s been able to find “no credible study that supports that claim –there is zero savings.”

Jason Cox, a Navy veteran, said, “Being able to financially provide for your family is probably the single biggest factor in mentally recovering from war and developing a sense of renewed security.”

The Wisconsin American Legion vowed to continue reaching out to the governor and legislative leaders in an effort to protect veterans, save Prevailing Wages for construction projects that involve state dollars– roads, bridges, buildings and universities.

The Wisconsin American Legion is the state’s largest veterans’ service organization with over 60,000 members and 507 posts in communities across Wisconsin serving troops, veterans and youth since 1919. For more information on the Legion’s programs and membership, please visit www.wilegion.org.

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