Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Sen. Jake Ashby, ranking Member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, have penned a letter calling upon Gov. Kathy Hochul to include support for veterans in her executive budget.
Ortt’s team said, “The success and well-being of our veteran communities is critical, yet they are too often overlooked during budget season in Albany.”
He explained, “It’s often said that if you want to know the values of a government, look at its budget. Today I stand with my colleague and fellow veteran Sen. Jake Ashby in calling on Gov. Hochul to include vitally important support for our returning veterans in her budget proposal. As elected officials, it is our responsibility to ensure continued support for the brave men and women who served in our military. Our veterans put this country first, fighting for the freedoms that make us Americans and underpin our daily lives. It is time Albany supports these selfless individuals and makes them a priority in the budget from start to finish.”
Ashby said, “From the Sector New York Coast Guard Field Command to Fort Drum, from the cadets at West Point to our aging veterans, military affairs is a signature part of our state’s character, culture and economy. It must be a central part of our budget. Funding critical mental health services like the Dwyer program is part of meeting our sacred obligation to the men and women who put everything on the line for the country they love. Supporting their reintegration to civilian life is good for our communities, good for our local economies, and strengthens our state.”
In a letter delivered to the governor, Ortt and Ashby requested increasing and making permanent funding for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support initiative, which offers peer-to-peer counseling for veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury, and helps veterans reintegrate into civilian society.