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Zeldin Pushes For Restoration Of Popular New York Veteran PTSD Program

U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.)
Office of U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin
U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.)

U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin from Long Island wants Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore funding for a popular program that helps veterans who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Cuomo eliminated the Joseph P. Dwyer mental health program in his budget proposal. State lawmakers want $6 million to keep it going next year, and to make it permanent in future budgets.

Zeldin is an Iraq War veteran who helped launch the Dwyer program when he was a state Senator.

“All the veterans advocates in New York should know that next year, they're not going to have to come to Albany and beg for this funding, the year after that they don't have to come to Albany and beg for this funding because right now, with this opportunity with a state budget that has to get passed right now, this Legislature seized an opportunity and made this funding permanent,” Zeldin said.

The state’s deadline to finalize next year’s budget is just one week away.

Cuomo’s budget director has said that all of the proposed cuts could be restored with cash from the federal government, and higher than expected state tax revenue.

Zeldin introduced a federal bill this month to expand the Dwyer program nationwide.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.