ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Local assemblymembers and veterans gathered Wednesday to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do away with the proposed cuts to veteran programs in the state budget.
Cuomo plans to cut close to $6 million in veterans services in the 2020-2021 budget.
The largest cut would eliminate $4 million from the counseling programs at a local veteran peer-to-peer program. Assemblyman Mark Johns says these programs can make the difference between life and death for veterans.
“This type of contact allows a lot of vets to be talked out of suicides, it allows them to calm down, it helps them, it helps their families. Why would you pull $4 million out of the budget?” said Johns. “It’s more than Memorial Day, a vets day, this is year round. Vets shouldn’t be abandoned when they come back.”
The budget is due on April 1.