Olsen AWOL During King Veterans Home Crisis Print
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Sam Erickson   
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 17:54

veteran-homeAfter ignoring the warning signs at King, Sen. Luther Olsen still voted to raid veterans nursing home budget.

WAUPACA, WI - An investigative report by The Capital Times this week detailed years of neglect and mismanagement at the Wisconsin Veterans’ Home at King, a facility located in Wisconsin’s 14th Senate District. The story uncovered years of negligence at King and inaction by legislative Republicans and Walker administration officials. Despite knowing about problems, Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) voted to let Gov. Walker raid millions from the veterans nursing homes, taking money directly from veterans’ care and spending it on bureaucrats in Madison.

brian-smith“Sen. Olsen said he knew about issues at King for years, so why didn't he act sooner?” asked Waupaca Mayor and State Senate Candidate Brian Smith. “Veterans and their families deserve to know why politicians ignored warning signs and red flags about staffing levels and outdated facilities. What's worse is that the politicians charged with overseeing these facilities continued to raid millions of dollars that should have gone to improve veteran health care.”

As a member of the legislature's Joint Finance Committee, Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) had a direct role in approving the nursing home fund raids and jeopardizing the care of individuals at Wisconsin's veteran nursing homes. In a recent interview, Sen. Olsen admitted he was aware of problems and “had heard concerns about staffing at King throughout his 12-year tenure.”

“I'm appalled that politicians who had the power to step up and do something simply sat on the sidelines and tried to cover their tracks once these tragic stories were brought to light,” said Smith. “After their tremendous sacrifice for our country, our veterans deserve the best care possible, not irresponsible budget raids that jeopardize their health care. I'm running for State Senate because our elected leaders should do what's right for our local veterans and families rather than what the party bosses and special interests tell them to do.”