Section 45.03 (1), Stats., authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to promulgate rules necessary to carry out the purposes of Chapter 45 and the powers and duties conferred upon it. Section 227.10 (1), Stats., directs each agency to promulgate as a rule each statement of policy to govern its enforcement and interpretation of a statute. Section 227.10 (2m), Stats., directs each agency to promulgate rules for the implementation or enforcement of any standard, requirement, or threshold.
4. Related statutes or rules:
Section 45.47 provides the definition of a grant recipient, details a grant recipient’s record-keeping duties, and provides for reduction, suspension, or termination of funds to grant recipients, in addition to other legal remedies, should a grant recipient fail in those duties.
5. Plain language analysis:
The department proposes to promulgate the required rules detailing the goals grant recipients must meet and requiring that those goals be met before any grant moneys are disbursed, as well as regarding the reporting requirements regarding the expenditures of grant moneys, and audits of those records to ensure compliance.
The proposed new policies will establish the general criteria, procedures, requirements and conditions for employers and non-profit organizations to apply for grant funds not to exceed $500,000 in aggregate per fiscal year.
6. Summary of, and comparison with, existing or proposed federal statutes and regulations.
The Veterans Employment and Entrepreneurship Grant Program is administered under the authority of state law. There are no existing or proposed federal regulations that address the activities to be regulated by the rule.
7. Comparison with rules in adjacent states:
In reviewing the statutes, rules and websites of veterans departments of adjacent states revealed no similar grant program
8. Summary of factual data and analytical methodologies:
The Department analyzed the grant processes of state agencies experienced in the administration of grants and used those processes as a foundation for the rule and application procedures.
9. Analysis and supporting documents used to determine effect on small business or in preparation of economic impact analysis:
There is no anticipated impact on small businesses.
10. Effect on small business:
There is no anticipated impact on small businesses.
10. Fiscal Estimate:
This rule will have no fiscal impact on small businesses. The program described by this rule may provide funds to some small businesses. It requires the completion of an application if the business wishes to receive grant funds, but imposes no duty on businesses not wishing to apply for the grant funds.
11. Comments and opinions prepared by the Board of Veterans Affairs under s. 45.03(2m), Stats.: The Board members unanimously voted to approve adopting the proposed language to Chapter VA 2.08, the Employment and Entrepreneurship Program, and offered no comments.
12. Agency contact person and place where comments are to be submitted and deadline for submission:
The public record on this proposed rule-making will be held open until close of business the day of the hearing to permit the submission of comments in lieu of public hearing testimony, or comments supplementing testimony offered at the hearing.
Prior to September 1, 2016, comments on proposed rules should be sent to:
Kelly Brady, paralegal
Office of Legal Counsel
Department of Veterans Affairs
201 W Washington Avenue
PO Box 7843
Madison, WI 53707-7843
Beginning September 1, 2016 comments on proposed administrative rules will be accepted through the Legislature's website at http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/comment. All submitted comments will be sent to the appropriate agency rules coordinators. It is necessary to include your contact information in your submitted comments if you wish to receive a response. The previous administrative rules website at health.wisconsin.gov/admnrules/public/Home will be decommissioned on September 1, 2016.
VA 2.08 (title) and VA 2.08 are created to read:
VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND ENTREPENEURSHIP GRANTS
(1) AUTHORITY AND PURPOSE. The purpose of this section is to establish rules for the implementation and administration of grants to assist veteran entrepreneurs, to give employers in this state incentives to hire veterans, especially disabled veterans, to help fund employment training for veterans, especially disabled veterans, as authorized under s. 45.437, Stats. (2) APPLICABILITY. This section applies to grants awarded under s. 45.437, Stats.
(3) DEFINITIONS In this section:
(a) “Applicant” means employer or nonprofit organization located in the state, that applies for a grant to improve employment outcomes for veterans living in the state.
(b) “Department” means the Wisconsin department of veterans affairs.
(c) “Disabled veteran” means a veteran who is verified by the department to have a service-connected disability rating of at least 50 percent under 38 USC 1114 or 1134.
(d) “Employer” means a person or organization that employs people, but does not include local, state and federal government agencies.
(e) “Evaluation committee” means a committee comprised of members of the board of veterans affairs that evaluates applications made under this section.
(f) “Full-time job” means a regular, nonseasonal full-time position in which an individual, as a condition of employment, is required to work at least 2,080 hours per year, including paid leave and holidays.
(g) “Grant participant” means a person who meets the requirements of s. 45.01(12), Stats. (h) “Nonprofit organization” is an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) of the internal revenue code which is exempt from federal income tax under s. 501(a) of the internal revenue code.
(i) “Part-time job” means a regular, nonseasonal part-time position in which an individual, as a condition of employment, is required to work fewer than 2,080 hours per year, including paid leave and holidays.
(j) “Veteran” means a person who meets the requirements of s. 45.01(12), Stats.
(4) VETERANS EMPLOYMENT GRANTS.
(a) From the appropriation account under s. 20.485 (2) (qm) the department may award a grant in any of the following amounts to any employer who hires a veteran to work at a business in this state:
1. For each disabled veteran the employer hires in a twelve month period to work a full-time job at the employer’s business in this state, $2,500 following the first 6 months of employment, and $2,500 following the second 6 month period in which the veteran is hired.
2. Subject to sub. 4(d), for each disabled veteran the employer hires in a twelve month period to work a part-time job at the employer’s business in this state, $1,250 following the first 6 months of employment, and $1,250 following the second 6 month period in which the veteran is hired.
(b) An employer shall apply for a grant under this section in the manner prescribed by the department.
(c) The department shall not pay a grant to an applicant in any calendar year in which the veteran voluntarily or involuntarily leaves his or her employment with the applicant.
(d) The department shall determine the amount of the grant under sub. (4) (a) as follows:
1. Divide the number of hours that the disabled veteran worked for the applicant during the calendar year by 2,080.
2. Multiply the amount of the grant under sub. (4) (a) 2., as appropriate, by the number determined under subd. 1.