In this section:
“Duly authorized representative" means any person authorized in writing by the veteran to act for the veteran, the veteran's guardian if the veteran is adjudicated incompetent, or a legal representative if the veteran is deceased. Where for proper reason no representative has been or will be appointed, the veteran's spouse, an adult child, or, if the veteran is unmarried, either parent of the veteran shall be recognized as the duly authorized representative.
“Service office" means a county veterans service office.
(2) Separation documents.
Separation documents and copies of separation documents evidencing service in the armed forces of the U.S. are confidential and privileged. Examination of these records in the possession of the department or service office is limited to authorized employees of the department or service office and information entered in these records may be disclosed only to veterans and their duly authorized representatives or to interested governmental agencies for the purpose of assisting veterans and their dependents to obtain the rights and benefits to which they may be entitled.
(3) U.S. department of veterans affairs records.
Records and papers in the possession of the department or service office that are released to the department or service office by the U.S. department of veterans affairs or that contain information provided by the U.S. department of veterans affairs are confidential. Release of information from these records or papers may be made only under regulations of the U.S. department of veterans affairs.
All reports of investigation made by employees of the department or at the direction of the department for official departmental purposes are only for the use of the secretary and staff. Materials and information that disclose the investigative techniques of the department or the identity of confidential informants and material received in confidence by representatives of the department may not be released.
(5) Vital records.
The service office may obtain a copy of a vital record under s. 69.30 (2)
and may transmit the copy to the department or to the U.S. department of veterans affairs to assist a veteran or his or her dependent in obtaining a benefit.
(6) Disclosure of monetary benefits.
The department shall disclose, to any person who requests, the amount of any payment, grant, or loan made by the department to any applicant. A person seeking this information shall be required to sign a statement setting forth the person's name and address and the reason for making the request and certifying that the person will not use the information obtained for commercial or political purposes.
(7) Disclosure of loan status information.
The department may disclose to a consumer reporting agency, as defined in 15 USC 1681a
(f), the current repayment status of, the balances due on, and other relevant information pertaining to department loans that is readily accessible on any loans on which balances are due and owing the department. The department may charge consumer reporting agencies an amount sufficient to cover all the costs of preparation and delivery of the information.
(8) Disclosure of other information.
Except as provided in subs. (2)
, all files, records, reports, papers, and documents pertaining to applications for benefits from the department, and information contained in them, may be released by the department or service office only under rules of the department. The rules shall provide for the furnishing of information required under sub. (7)
and for official purposes by any agency of the U.S. government, by any agency of this state, by any law enforcement, social services, or human services agency of any Wisconsin county, or by members of the state senate and assembly. The rules shall otherwise provide for release of personal information pertaining to or contained in any application for benefits, whether pending or adjudicated, only when authorized in writing by the applicants or when necessary to assist applicants in securing veterans benefits that the applicants may be entitled to or when necessary for the efficient management of loans made by the department.
History: 2005 a. 22
The department shall establish a voluntary statewide registry that will collect information from veterans and inform veterans on health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, Agent Orange, and Gulf War syndrome.
History: 2007 a. 20
Registration of certificate of discharge.
Every person who has served in the U.S. armed forces at any time, and who has been honorably discharged or given a certificate of service or relieved from active service may record with the register of deeds of any county, in a suitable book provided by the county for that purpose, a certificate of discharge or release. The certificate shall be accessible only to the discharged person or that person's dependents or duly authorized representative, as defined in s. 45.04 (1) (a)
, the county veterans service officer, the department, or any person with written authorization from the discharged person or that discharged person's dependents. The register of deeds may not charge for recording, except that in counties where the register of deeds is under the fee system and not paid a fixed salary, the county shall pay the fee specified in s. 59.43 (2) (ag)
. The record of any certificate of discharge or release made prior to July 6, 1919, is legalized.
History: 2005 a. 22
It shall be unlawful for any person to receive or accept as a security or to withhold from a veteran or a person who was honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces any discharge paper, citation, warrant, medal, badge, or evidence upon which the veteran is entitled to certain rights, as a veteran under the laws of the United States or of this state, and any transfer of the item during the life of the veteran upon a consideration or otherwise shall be null and void, and the refusal or willful neglect of any person to return or deliver upon demand the discharge paper, citation, warrant, medal, badge, or evidence is punishable as provided in sub. (2)
Any person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.
History: 2005 a. 22
Wisconsin Veterans Museum. 45.07(1)(1)
The department of administration shall provide suitable space for the purpose of a memorial hall, designated as the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, dedicated to the veterans of Wisconsin and to the men and women of Wisconsin who served in the armed forces of the United States during the civil war of 1861 to 1865 and during any subsequent period. The department of veterans affairs shall operate the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. The mission of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum is to acknowledge, commemorate, and affirm the role of Wisconsin veterans in the United States of America's military past by means of instructive exhibits and other educational programs.
The battle flags of Wisconsin units serving in the nation's wars and all relics and mementos of the nation's wars donated to or otherwise acquired by the state for display in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum shall constitute the memorial collection. The department shall do all of the following:
Catalog and identify all war relics and mementos of the memorial collection.
Restore, preserve, and safeguard the relics and mementos of the memorial collection.
Procure additions to the memorial collection.
Provide proper display equipment and display the memorial collection to make it instructive and attractive to visitors.
History: 2005 a. 22
See also ch. VA 5
, Wis. adm. code.
Memorial Day. 45.08(1)(1)
Every department and agency of the state government, every court of the state, and every political subdivision of the state, shall give a leave of absence with pay for the last Monday in May of each year, the day of celebration for May 30, Memorial Day, to every person in the employ of the state or political subdivision who has at any time served in and been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces or from forces incorporated as part of the U.S. armed forces. A refusal to give the leave of absence to a person entitled to the leave constitutes neglect of duty.
If the nature of the duties of the department, agency, court, or political subdivision necessitates the employment of persons eligible for a leave of absence under sub. (1)
, the department, agency, court, or political subdivision shall arrange and assign the necessary work so as to permit the largest possible numbers of eligible persons to have a leave of absence either all or part of Memorial Day.
History: 2005 a. 22
Veterans as classroom volunteers. 45.09(2)
Subject to sub. (3)
, the department shall award a certificate of achievement and appreciation to any veteran who completes 20 hours of volunteer service in a public, private, or tribal school during a school term.
A certificate shall be awarded under sub. (2)
if all of the following requirements are met:
The volunteer service consists of classroom service that involves direct interaction with pupils, with an emphasis on sharing the lessons the veteran learned from his or her military experience.
The veteran is not an employee of the school or school district during the term in which the volunteer service takes place.
By July 1 after the school term in which the volunteer service takes place, the veteran submits to the department a form signed by the school principal or school district administrator verifying that the veteran fulfilled the 20 hours of volunteer service specified under par. (a)
History: 2007 a. 22
; 2009 a. 302
Donation of abandoned vehicles.
A nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance or other services to veterans and their dependents that receives a vehicle donated under s. 342.40
shall use at least 50 percent of the proceeds obtained through the donation to serve the needs of active duty service members, veterans, or the families of veterans.
History: 2015 a. 106
The department may reimburse any veteran who incurred travel expenses relating to an appearance that occurred at the request of the state, subject to the following:
A veteran seeking reimbursement shall submit to the department documentation of travel expenses incurred.
Notwithstanding ss. 16.53 (12) (c)
and 20.916 (8)
, the department may reimburse all documented travel expenses but reimbursement shall not exceed $2,000 annually per veteran.
History: 2015 a. 55
Wisconsin veteran-owned business logotypes. 45.12(1)(a)
“Disabled veteran-owned business" means a business certified by the department of administration under s. 16.283 (3)
“Veteran-owned business" means each of the following:
A business not included under subds. 1.
that the department certifies for purposes of this section as being at least 51 percent owned by one or more veterans.
The department shall design an official logotype appropriate for use by veteran-owned businesses in this state. The logotype design shall contain the words “Wisconsin Veteran-Owned Business."
The department shall certify each farmer who applies to the department to use the logotype under par. (b)
if the farmer is one of the following:
The department, in consultation with the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection shall design an official logotype appropriate for use on agricultural products produced by persons certified under par. (a)
The department may design an official logotype, in addition to the one designed under sub. (2)
, appropriate for use by disabled veteran-owned businesses in this state. The logotype design shall contain the words “Wisconsin Disabled Veteran-Owned Business."
The department shall consult with the department of administration to design the official logotype under sub. (2)
and the official logotype under sub. (3)
, if any.
Wisconsin commission for the United States semiquincentennial commission. 45.13(1)(a)
The Wisconsin commission for the U.S. semiquincentennial commission shall plan, coordinate, and implement a program to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States and specifically highlight the role of Wisconsin in that event and the impact of its people on the nation's past, present, and future.
The commission shall hold public meetings to solicit the input of citizens throughout the state in developing programs for the semiquincentennial.
The program is subject to the support of a majority of the commission, and a majority of the members constitutes a quorum.
Members may be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred when performing functions under this section.
The commission shall coordinate with federal, state, local, and private agencies on infrastructural improvements and on projects to welcome regional, national, and international tourists.
The commission shall plan and prepare educational events and opportunities relating to the semiquincentennial for use by public, private, and tribal elementary and secondary schools throughout the state. The commission shall provide informational materials about events and opportunities planned and prepared under this paragraph to the department of public instruction for distribution to public, private, and tribal elementary and secondary schools.
Each public elementary or secondary school, including each charter school, shall provide at least one event or educational opportunity under par. (a)
to pupils in the 2025-26 school year.
For each public elementary or secondary school in a school district, the school board of the school district and, for each charter school established under s. 118.40 (2r)
, the operator of the charter school shall report to the department of public instruction the event or educational opportunity that the school held to satisfy the requirement under par. (b)
. By no later than September 1, 2026, the department of public instruction shall compile and submit to the commission the information the department of public instruction received under this paragraph.
The department and the state historical society shall work together to support the commission in the performance of its functions.
The state historical society shall, upon request of the commission, in accordance with its powers as described in s. 44.015 (8)
, contract with the Wisconsin Historical Foundation, Inc., for the purpose of providing support to the commission in performance of its functions of accepting donations, making procurements, expending funds, and entering into contracts, leases, or other agreements.
Upon request of the commission, any state agencies, as defined in s. 20.001 (1)
, shall cooperate with the commission in the performance of its functions.
The commission may do any of the following:
Accept donations, make procurements, and expend funds.
Designate special committees with representatives from federal, state, local, and private groups to plan, develop, and coordinate specific activities.
Enter into contracts, leases, or other agreements.
Assume such other functions authorized by law as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
Appoint such committees as may be required to carry out its functions.
No later than December 5, 2022, and annually thereafter until 2027, the commission shall submit a report to the governor and the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
that contains all of the following: