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State vets group ends push to have Gov. Walker veto asbestos bill

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin veterans are ending their campaign to have the governor veto a bill which seeks to curtail lawsuits against asbestos exposure.

Jason Johns of the Military Order of the Purple Heart said Monday that he e-mailed veterans and told them to back off. Johns said the governor's policy adviser, Waylon Hurlburt, told the state's American Legion commander that Republican Scott Walker would sign the bill.

Johns said the adviser indicated that putting pressure on the governor would, "not make a difference and would only irritate him." Johns said he doesn't want to risk future endeavors with the governor even though, "Retreat is not in my nature."

A Walker spokeswoman said Monday that the governor was still evaluating the bill -- which requires plaintiffs in asbestos suits to disclose which companies they're going after.  

Republicans say the bill would prevent plaintiffs from double-dipping by collecting twice from a business. Opponents said the bill would deny justice for those harmed by asbestos exposure, mainly veterans.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke accused the GOP of favoring special interests.

Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said the state Veterans' Affairs agency never took a position on the bill. She said it's designed to promote transparency and make sure there's enough money for, "the truly injured" to be compensated down the road.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)