CONTACT: Rep. Felzkowski
Madison, WI – Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) met to hear testimony and vote on AB 732, a bill that would extend and expand the Veteran’s Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP), which recently lost its federal funding.
Previously, VORP had been implemented in 49 of the state’s 72 counties, with a focus in northern and central Wisconsin. This bill would allow the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to expand the program statewide using a ten region system, ensuring that veterans in every corner of the state can find the necessary resources they require. In addition, the bill would allow DVA to widen the scope of those who are eligible to receive treatment, increasing access to former and current military members who are in need of substance abuse, mental health, and housing assistance.
Rep. Felzkowski (R-Irma) commented, “We heard a lot of emotional testimony today that really spoke for itself. From County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO) to Outreach and Recovery Specialist (ORS) the amount of selfless compassion is incredible. We even heard from a veteran who has experienced what this program has to offer and testified that without it, he would not be alive today. I commend everyone involved in the VORP process.”
The VORP bill received a public hearing for testimony, followed by an executive session in which the bill was unanimously approved by the committee.
Rep. Felzkowski added, “I think our commitment to this program is just one example of how much of a priority veterans are in our state. There are so many brave men and women who have put their lives on the line to fight for our freedoms. It’s our job to make sure they land on their feet when they come home. If they fall, we will pick them up.”
AB 732 and its companion in the senate now head to their full legislative bodies for passage.