Madison—The State Assembly unanimously approved Senate Bill 446 late Thursday in the final floor action of the current legislative session. The bill provides funds to an interdisciplinary team to bring home Wisconsin service members still Missing-in-Action (MIA), many since World War II (WWII), and from later conflicts.
Rep. Skowronski stated “I am proud to have been an author of this legislation that gained
unprecedented bipartisan support inside and outside the Legislature. Wisconsin will once again lead the nation by being the first state to bring home its own MIAs.”
The MIA Recovery team is housed on the UW-Madison campus and consists of staff and
students from across the state. The team has carried out recoveries before with funding from the federal Department of Defense (DoD). None of those cases involved Wisconsin MIAs. State funding will give the team the leeway to select the highest priority cases from the list of 1,500 Wisconsin MIAs, and funds to carry out its own retrieval mission. Most MIA recovery missions are still focused largely in the European theater of WWII.
In addition, the MIA Recovery team will quickly be able to analyze DNA of recovered MIA service members in the UW Biotechnology Center labs. Federal DoD analysis takes about a year and a half; the Wisconsin team will finish in less than three months. Families of Wisconsin MIAs will receive news of recovery of their missing service member very quickly.
Rep. Sinicki also pointed out that “We want to thank all of our bill’s leaders from the Senate: Senate President Roger Roth, Senator Dale Kooyenga, Senator Fred Risser, and Senator Mark Miller. Their work secured the Senate’s passage of SB 446 late last year. “