The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.
On Wednesday, June 14th, Senate Bill 113 (SB-113) creating the state holiday of Veterans Day on November 11th will be taken up in the State Senate. SB-113’s passage by the Legislature will result in the closing of state offices and state workers taking the day off.
Supporters of the bill said it was important to pass the bill because Wisconsin is the only state that does not officially recognize Veterans Day by closing state government in observance of the day and those who served our nation. I agree that that is a mighty short list that we should not be on.
However, rather than simply giving state workers the day off and closing state offices, it seems to me a better way to honor our veterans would be to give them a paid day off regardless of whether they work in the public or private sector. They are the people who sacrificed to protect us. They deserve to have the time on Veterans Day to spend it as they see fit as a reflection of our undying gratitude for their service.
Since 2007 I have been introducing legislation that would require employers to give the veterans they employee a paid holiday for Veterans Day. This year it was introduced as Senate Bill 117 (SB-117).
I want to believe my colleagues and our patriotic business owners would be supportive of my bill. After all, it seems a small price to pay by those who have benefitted so much from the sacrifices our veterans have made.
The best way to make that happen would be to add the language from my bill (SB-117) to Senate Bill-113 in the form of an amendment.
Unfortunately, my attempt recently to amend Senate Bill 113 did not receive a single Republican vote in the Senate Transportation and Veterans Committee that was needed for that to happen.
When SB-113 goes to the floor of the State Senate on Wednesday, June 14th it will represent our best chance to make sure all of our veterans get the recognition they so richly deserve. But for that to happen Republicans in the majority will have to agree to amend the bill.
If you agree that veterans deserve their own paid holiday on Veterans Day, please contact your state senator and state representative and ask them to support amending Senate Bill 113 so that those who have given so much for our country and our freedom get Veterans Day off with pay.
To find out who represents you call the Legislature’s Toll-Free Hotline at 1-800-362-9472 or go to the Legislature’s home page at www.legis.wisconsin.gov
– Hansen, D-Green Bay, represents the 30th Senate District.