Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) joined Joseph Chenelly, AMVETS National Executive Director, Assemblyman Jake Ashby, Minority Ranker on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Assemblyman Ed Ra, Minority Ranker on the Ways and Means Committee and other members of the Minority Conference on Thursday morning calling for historic investments in New York veterans. Minority lawmakers are calling for a $500 million investment in pandemic relief for veterans to be passed in the 2022-23 State Budget.
“Our state’s fiscal plan is an undeniable representation of what matters most to our state, and for far too long funding for critical veterans’ programs and services has taken a back seat to frivolous proposals and pet projects. Today, my colleagues and I made it crystal clear that our veterans need to be an absolute priority in the final budget that comes out of Albany ahead of April 1.
“We are proposing $250 million in operational funding from the COVID-19 Public Health Response Fund and another $250 million in Capital funding from the State and Municipal Facilities (SAM) Program. This funding would support several veterans’ services and organizations such as the Dwyer Peer to Peer Program, American Legions, Veterans of Foreign Wars and veteran housing, among others.
“This investment is not only imperative, but with a $216 billion executive budget proposal, it is absolutely attainable. We are in a unique financial situation going into the new fiscal year, and we should use the influx of funding wisely. Our Conference has long proposed and supported efforts to support the men and women who have protected our country and its freedoms - it’s time to secure the necessary funding to best support them upon their return home,” said Walsh.