45.03(2m) (2m) Rule-making; board comments. The secretary shall provide the board with a copy of any rule that the department is preparing as a proposed rule under s. 227.14 (1). The board may prepare a report containing written comments and its opinion regarding the proposed rule. In preparing the proposed rule, the department shall include in the analysis under s. 227.14 (2) a copy of any such written comments and opinion.
45.03(3) (3)Council on veterans programs.
45.03(3)(a)(a) The council on veterans programs created under s. 15.497 shall advise the board and the department on solutions and policy alternatives relating to the problems of veterans.
45.03(3)(b) (b) The council on veterans programs and the department, jointly or separately, shall submit a report regarding the council on veterans programs to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for distribution to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2) by September 30 of every odd-numbered year. The report shall include a general summary of the activities and membership over the past 2 years of the council and each organization on the council.
45.03(4) (4)Department staff.
45.03(4)(a)(a) The department shall employ staff necessary to carry out its functions. The secretary shall appoint under the classified service such persons as are necessary to carry out the policy of the department. All persons appointed by the department shall, if possible, be veterans and preference shall be given to disabled veterans.
45.03(4)(b) (b) The department upon request shall assist without charge all persons residing in the state having claims against the United States where the claims have arisen out of or by reason of service in the U.S. armed forces. The department may act as agent or power of attorney in pursuing claims for persons requesting the department to do so.
45.03(4)(c) (c) The department shall employ regional coordinators. The duties of a regional coordinator shall include providing direct claims and benefit application assistance to veterans. The regional coordinators shall coordinate claims and benefit application assistance with the appropriate county veterans service officers to maximize the level of assistance and benefits provided to veterans.
45.03(4)(d) (d) The department shall employ claims officers. The claims officers shall provide federal claims and benefit assistance to veterans and shall be based in the department's regional office in Milwaukee County.
45.03(4)(e) (e) The department shall employ mobile claims officers in each of the department's regions. The mobile claims officers shall provide claims and benefit assistance to veterans. The mobile claims officers shall coordinate that claims and benefit assistance with the appropriate county veterans service officers to maximize the level of assistance and benefits provided to veterans.
45.03(5) (5)Department powers to provide structures, facilities, and permanent improvements.
45.03(5)(a)(a) In this subsection, unless the context requires otherwise:
45.03(5)(a)1. 1. "Existing building" in relation to any conveyance, lease, or sublease made under par. (c) 1. means all detention, treatment, administrative, recreational, infirmary, hospital, vocational, and academic buildings; all dormitories and cottages; all storage facilities, heating plants, sewage disposal plants, and other buildings, structures, facilities, and permanent improvements that in the judgment of the board are needed or useful for the purposes of the department, and all equipment for them and all improvements and additions to them that were erected, constructed, or installed prior to the making of the conveyance, lease, or sublease.
45.03(5)(a)2. 2. "New building" in relation to any conveyance, lease, or sublease made under par. (c) 1. means all detention, treatment, administrative, recreational, infirmary, hospital, vocational, and academic buildings; all dormitories and cottages; all storage facilities, heating plants, sewage disposal plants, and other buildings, structures, facilities, and permanent improvements as in the judgment of the board are needed or useful for the purposes of the department, and all equipment for them and all improvements and additions to them that are erected, constructed, or installed after the making of the conveyance, lease, or sublease.
45.03(5)(a)3. 3. "Nonprofit corporation" means a nonstock corporation that is organized under ch. 181 and that is a nonprofit corporation, as defined in s. 181.0103 (17).
45.03(5)(b) (b) The department may acquire by gift, purchase, or condemnation property for the purposes of providing a headquarters and museum building for the department.
45.03(5)(c)1.1. To provide new buildings and to enable the construction and financing of new buildings, to refinance indebtedness created by a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of providing a new building or buildings or additions or improvements to a new building that is located on land owned by, or owned by the state and held for, the department or on lands of the institutions under the jurisdiction of the department or by the nonprofit corporation, or for any one or more of these purposes, the department has the following powers and duties:
45.03(5)(c)1.a. a. Without limitation by reason of any other provisions of the statutes except ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.848 (1), unless otherwise required by law, the power to sell and to convey title in fee simple to a nonprofit corporation any land and any existing buildings owned by the state that are under the jurisdiction of the department for the consideration and upon the terms and conditions as in the judgment of the board are in the public interest.
45.03(5)(c)1.b. b. Unless otherwise required by law, the power to lease to a nonprofit corporation for a term or terms not exceeding 50 years each any land and any existing buildings owned by the state that are under the jurisdiction of the department upon the terms and conditions as in the judgment of the board are in the public interest.
45.03(5)(c)1.c. c. The power to lease or sublease from the nonprofit corporation, and to make available for public use, any land, or any land and existing buildings conveyed or leased to such nonprofit corporation under subd. 1. a. and b., and any new buildings erected upon such land or upon any other land owned by the nonprofit corporation, upon the terms, conditions, and rentals, subject to available appropriations, as in the judgment of the board are in the public interest.
45.03(5)(c)1.d. d. The duty to submit the plans and specifications for all new buildings to the building commission for approval whenever required by law and to submit plans and specifications for all new buildings and all conveyances, leases, and subleases made under this subsection to the department of administration and the governor for written approval before they are finally adopted, executed, and delivered.
45.03(5)(c)1.e. e. The power to pledge and assign all or any part of the revenues derived from the operation of any land or new buildings as security for the payment of rentals due and to become due under any lease or sublease of new buildings under subd. 1. c.
45.03(5)(c)1.f. f. The power to covenant and agree in any lease or sublease of any land or new buildings made under subd. 1. c. to impose fees, rentals, or other charges for the use and occupancy or other operation of new buildings in an amount calculated to produce net revenues sufficient to pay the rentals due and to become due under the lease or sublease.
45.03(5)(c)1.g. g. The power to apply all or any part of the revenues derived from the operation of any land or existing buildings to the payment of rentals due and to become due under any lease or sublease made under subd. 1. c.
45.03(5)(c)1.h. h. The power to pledge and assign all or any part of the revenues derived from the operation of any land or existing buildings to the payment of rentals due and to become due under any lease or sublease made under subd. 1. c.
45.03(5)(c)1.i. i. The power to covenant and agree in any lease or sublease made under subd. 1. c. to impose fees, rentals, or other charges for the use and occupancy or other operation of any land or existing buildings in an amount calculated to produce net revenues sufficient to pay the rentals due and to become due under the lease or sublease.
45.03(5)(c)1.j. j. The power and duty, upon receipt of notice of any assignment by any nonprofit corporation of any lease or sublease made under subd. 1. c., or of any of its rights under any sublease, to recognize and give effect to the assignment, and to pay to the assignee rentals or other payments then due or that may become due under any lease or sublease that has been assigned by the nonprofit corporation.
45.03(5)(c)2. 2. The state shall be liable for accrued rentals and for any other default under any lease or sublease made under subd. 1. c., and may be sued for the accrued rentals or other default on contract as in other contract actions under ch. 775, except that the lessor under the lease or sublease or any assignee of the lessor or any person or other legal entity proceeding on behalf of the lessor is not required to file any claim with the legislature prior to the commencement of the action.
45.03(5)(c)3. 3. Nothing in this subsection empowers the board or the department to incur any state debt.
45.03(5)(c)4. 4. All powers and duties conferred upon the board or the department under this subsection shall be exercised and performed by resolution of the board. All conveyances, leases, and subleases made under this subsection, when authorized by resolution of the board, shall be made, executed, and delivered in the name of the department and shall be signed by the secretary and sealed with the seal of the department.
45.03(5)(c)5. 5. All laws, conflicting with any provisions of this subsection, are, insofar as they conflict with this section and no further, superseded by this subsection.
45.03(6) (6)Coordination duties. The department shall coordinate the activities of all state agencies and the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority performing functions relating to the medical, hospital, or other remedial care; placement and training; and educational, economic, or vocational rehabilitation of veterans. In particular, the department shall coordinate the activities of the technical college system board, state selective service administration, department of health services, department of workforce development, department of public instruction, the University of Wisconsin System and other educational institutions, the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, and all other departments or agencies performing any of the functions specified, to the end that the benefits provided in this section may be made available to veterans as promptly and effectively as possible.
45.03(7) (7)Contact duties. The department shall maintain contacts with county veterans service officers and local agencies, the American Red Cross, and veterans organizations concerned with the welfare of veterans and shall contact and cooperate with federal agencies in securing for veterans all benefits to which they may be entitled.
45.03(8) (8)Minors' execution of documents; benefits exempt from execution.
45.03(8)(a)(a) Any minor who is a veteran and any minor who is the spouse, surviving spouse, or child of a veteran may execute notes, mortgages, and other contracts and conveyances to the department and the notes, mortgages, contracts, and conveyances are not subject to the defense of infancy.
45.03(8)(b) (b) The benefits and aid provided under s. 45.20 (3) and s. 45.40 are not assignable and are exempt from garnishment and execution.
45.03 Note NOTE: There is no s. 45.20 (3).
45.03(9) (9)Vocational training. The department in cooperation with the department of workforce development shall make available to disabled veterans the benefits of vocational training and guidance, including those veterans who have filed claims for federal rehabilitation benefits and during the pendency of the claims. If the claims are allowed and federal reimbursement is made to the state, the money shall be paid into the veterans trust fund.
45.03(10) (10)Training and employment of veterans. The department, in cooperation with the department of workforce development and state selective service administration and any other federal, state, or local agency, shall formulate and carry out plans for the training and employment of veterans.
45.03(11) (11)Approval agency for veterans training.
45.03(11)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), the department shall be the state approval agency for the education and training of veterans and other eligible persons. The department shall approve and supervise schools and courses of instruction for the training of veterans and eligible persons under 38 USC 3670, and may enter into and receive money under contracts with the U.S. department of veterans affairs or other appropriate federal agencies.
45.03(11)(b) (b) The governor may designate the following agencies for approval and supervision of special phases of the program of veterans education:
45.03(11)(b)1. 1. On-the-job and apprenticeship training program, the department of workforce development.
45.03(11)(b)2. 2. On-the-farm training program, the technical college system board.
45.03(11)(b)3. 3. Funeral directors apprentices, the funeral directors examining board.
45.03(12) (12)Gifts and bequests.
45.03(12)(a)(a) The department may receive gifts and bequests in its name for the benefit of Wisconsin veterans and their dependents in accordance with policies adopted by the board. Moneys received shall be credited to the veterans trust fund.
45.03(12)(b) (b) The department may receive moneys or other gifts and bequests in its name for the benefit of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Moneys received shall be credited to the veterans trust fund and used, as far as practicable, in accordance with the wishes of the donors and in accordance with the board's policies.
45.03(13) (13)Additional duties. The department shall do all the following:
45.03(13)(a) (a) Assist in the coordination of the state, county, municipal, and private activities relating to veterans housing.
45.03(13)(b) (b) Cooperate with any federal departments, agencies, and independent establishments relating to veterans housing, benefits, priorities, and finances.
45.03(13)(c) (c) Assist any housing authority, municipality, or private enterprise engaged in supplying veterans housing in the acquisition of materials, finances, legal aid, and compliance with federal regulations.
45.03(13)(d) (d) Utilize the services and facilities of state agencies and county veterans service officers, including legal services furnished to the department by the department of justice.
45.03(13)(e) (e) Provide county veterans service officers with the information provided to the department by the adjutant general under s. 321.04 (1) (o) and may provide county veterans service officers with information on all necessary military points of contact and general deployment information for reserve units of the U.S. armed forces.
45.03(13)(f) (f) Provide services related to post-traumatic stress disorder to service members and veterans, which shall include at least one of the following services:
45.03(13)(f)1. 1. Outreach services to service members and veterans who may be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.
45.03(13)(f)2. 2. Information on the availability of post-traumatic stress disorder medical services and referrals to those services.
45.03(13)(j) (j) Provide grants to eligible persons who administer a program to identify, train, and place volunteers at the community level who will assist national guard members, members of the U.S. armed forces or forces incorporated in the U.S. armed forces, and their spouses and dependents, who return to this state after serving on active duty. The department shall make available to the volunteers, veterans, and their spouses and dependents, a packet of information about the benefits that they may be eligible to receive from the state or federal government. The annual amount that may be expended under this paragraph may not exceed $201,000. This paragraph does not apply after June 30, 2011.
45.03(13)(k) (k) Provide $117,300 in 2005-06 and $117,300 in 2006-07 to a housing authority in a 1st class city in a county with a population of at least 500,000 to supplement the housing costs of chronically homeless veterans and their families if the housing authority does all of the following:
45.03(13)(k)1. 1. Provides evidence that the money will be used to provide multi-family housing for individuals and families that contain at least one veteran who has been chronically homeless.
45.03(13)(k)2. 2. Uses at least 50 percent of the money for supplementing temporary privately owned rental housing costs and the remainder for subsidizing public rental housing costs.
45.03(13)(k)3. 3. In coordination with the department, submits reports to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2) and to the governor by August 15, 2006, and August 15, 2007, that contain the following information related to the money received in the previous fiscal year:
45.03(13)(k)3.a. a. The number of veterans that received a housing supplement.
45.03(13)(k)3.b. b. The size of the veterans' households.
45.03(13)(k)3.c. c. The amount of the supplement and time that the supplement was provided to each veteran's household.
45.03(13)(k)3.d. d. The housing status of the assisted veteran's household at the time the supplement ended.
45.03(13)(k)3.e. e. Any other information that the department considers necessary to evaluate the program.
45.03(13)(L) (L) Provide verification to the educational institution of the information required under s. 36.27 (3p) (a) 1r. or 38.24 (8) (a) 1r.
45.03(13)(m) (m) Provide verification to the educational institution of the information required under s. 36.27 (3n) (a) 1m. or 38.24 (7) (a) 1m.
45.03(13)(n) (n) Provide verification to the department of revenue of the information required under s. 71.07 (6e) (a) 2. or 3.
45.03(13)(o) (o) Provide verification to the department of transportation of the information required under s. 343.14 (2) (j).
45.03(13)(p) (p) Before June 30 of each even-numbered year, submit to the joint committee on finance a report describing the condition of the veterans trust fund. The report shall include information regarding all of the following:
45.03(13)(p)1. 1. The projected revenues and expenditures of the veterans trust fund beginning with the fiscal year that starts immediately after the submittal of the report.
45.03(13)(p)2. 2. Any changes in the programs administered by the department that have been implemented after the enactment of the most recent biennial budget act and that are expected to affect the projected revenues, expenditures, or balances of the veterans trust fund.
45.03(14) (14)Liberal construction intended. This chapter shall be construed as liberally as the language permits in favor of applicants.
45.03(15) (15)Deferral of payments and interest on loans. When a veteran or a member of the veteran's family makes application for deferment of payment of monthly installments and waiver of interest charges on veterans loans made under this chapter, showing that the ability of the veteran to make payment is materially and adversely affected by reason of military service, the department may, with the approval of the board, defer payment of monthly installments and waive interest charges on veterans loans made under this chapter for the duration of any period of service in the armed forces of the United States during a national emergency or in time of war or under P.L. 87-117 and 6 months from date of discharge or separation and the time for payment may be extended for the same period. However, when funds estimated to be received in the veterans mortgage loan repayment fund to pay debt service on public debt contracted under s. 20.866 (2) (zn) and (zo) are less than the funds estimated to be required for the payment of the debt service, the board may grant deferral of payments and interest on loans provided under s. 45.37 only when so required by federal law.
45.03(16) (16)Application requirements and penalties.
45.03(16)(a)(a) If the department finds that an applicant for benefits from the department has willfully made or caused to be made, or conspired, assisted in, agreed to, arranged for, or in any way procured the making of a false or fraudulent affidavit, declaration, certificate, statement, or other writing, it may suspend all benefits available to the applicant from the department under this chapter.
45.03(16)(b) (b) Any person who, with the intent to secure any benefits under this chapter for personal benefit or for others, willfully makes or causes to be made, or conspires, assists in, agrees to, arranges for, or in any way procures the making or presentation of a false or fraudulent affidavit, declaration, certificate, statement, or other writing, may be fined not more than $500 or be imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both. The fine or imprisonment may be imposed in addition to the penalty provided in par. (a).
45.03(16)(c)1.1. As used in this paragraph, "fair consideration" means the exchange of property, assets, or obligations for a fair equivalent, in an amount not disproportionately small or large compared to the value of the property, assets, or obligations, as reflected in similar market transactions.
45.03(16)(c)2. 2. The department shall declare immediately due and payable any loan made after July 29, 1979, under a program administered by the department under s. 45.40 or subch. III, if it finds that the loan was granted to an ineligible person due to any of the following circumstances:
45.03(16)(c)2.a. a. The applicant did not report income amounts as required on the loan application.
45.03(16)(c)2.b. b. The applicant did not make the disclosures required under subd. 3. a., b., or c. on the loan application.
45.03(16)(c)2.c. c. The applicant transferred assets or liabilities or incurred liabilities for less than fair consideration with the intent to qualify for and secure the loan.
45.03(16)(c)3. 3. Loan application forms processed by the department for programs administered under s. 45.40 or subch. III shall do all of the following:
45.03(16)(c)3.a. a. Require disclosure of any asset with a value over $500 transferred by the applicant for less than fair consideration, within one year immediately prior to the loan application date. In determining the applicant's need for a loan, the department shall consider those transferred assets to be assets of the applicant.
45.03(16)(c)3.b. b. Require disclosure of any liability of more than $500 incurred by the applicant for less than fair consideration, within one year immediately prior to the loan application date. In determining the applicant's need for a loan, the department shall not consider these liabilities to be liabilities of the applicant.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Oct. 4, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Oct. 4, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-4-14)