Restore Funding For Our Veterans Manktelow Tells Cuomo

$9.1 million cut for vet counseling services disrespects those who risked their lives
March 19, 2019

Assemblyman Brian Manktelow R,C,I,Ref-Lyons, is joining with other state Assembly members to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to restore $9.1million for the Veterans Counseling Services Program and the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Counseling Program.

“Caring for our veterans is a basic responsibility, especially looking out for those who are struggling with mental health issues,” said Manktelow, himself a veteran. “These are the people who protected our freedom from our enemies; we can’t turn our backs on them by cutting funding for these critical programs.”

The Dwyer program is especially important because it connects veterans, active members of the armed forces and their families with others to provide peer to peer support for those dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Veterans themselves are best at understanding what another veteran is experiencing, which is why the program has worked well.

Manktelow has signed on to a letter to Cuomo and state Assembly leaders to request the money be restored. Since 2015, the state budget has allocated funding for the Dwyer program – last year $3.7 million was spent for services in more than 20 counties. The remainder of the funding went to other vet counseling throughout the state in a myriad of agencies and organizations ranging from county-run programs to services offered by American Legions.

 “It is reprehensible that the governor is trying to balance the state budget on the backs of those who were willing to protect and serve,” Manktelow said. “The money should be restored.”