Assemblymen Ed Ra and Jake Ashby Hold Press Conference Calling For $500 Million in Relief for ‘Invest In Veterans’ Package

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R- Franklin Square) stood up today in the New York State Capitol alongside Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I- Castleton) and members of the Assembly Minority Conference to call on Gov. Hochul and legislative leaders to “Invest in Vets” in the upcoming 2022-23 State Budget. Ra and Ashby have joined forces to propose a pandemic relief package that invests $500 million to support veterans’ services and organizations across New York.

The first of its kind pandemic relief package would invest $500 million to support services for Veterans and First-Responders and help rebuild Veterans’ Organizations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This veteran relief package will provide unprecedented investment for the support programs and services that New York State veterans rely on every day,” said Ra. “I recently had the opportunity to participate in a forum on PTSD right here in Nassau County where some of our nation’s bravest men and women stood up to share their stories and advocate for many of the amazing programs and organizations that would benefit from this relief package.”

The package includes $250 million in operational funding from the COVID-19 Public Health Response Fund for organizations such as the Dwyer Program, County Veterans’ Departments, Suicide Prevention for Veterans’, First Responders and Law Enforcement Officers, American Legions, VFWs, and PTSD non-profit organizations for treatment and research.

The relief plan also includes $250 million in Capital funding from the State and Municipal Facilities (SAM) Program of investment into Veterans’ Housing and Veterans’ Service Organization Facilities.

“Our veterans and first responders repeatedly put their lives on the line so that everyday Americans can continue to enjoy the freedoms and security we hold dear. I am proud to stand alongside my Assembly Minority colleagues in advocating for this package, and to remind everyone that investing in our veterans is an investment that benefits not only our heroic servicemen and women, but also our state and our nation as a whole.”

"This funding represents a strong commitment in the women and men who have long been committed to each of us and our American way of life," said Assemblyman Jake Ashby, the Minority Ranking Member on the Assembly Veterans' Affairs Committee. "This essential funding will fortify and grow our Veteran Service Organizations and State Veterans programs to ultimately ensure greater support and expanded high-quality services for the nearly 1 million Veterans across our State."