A local legislator is concerned with vetoes made to services that will benefit veterans in the new state budget.
Michigan House Representative Mike Mueller, a Republican from Linden, says he remains concerned by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s vetoes of money for the County Veteran Service Fund in the state’s 2020 Fiscal Year budget. Mueller said a line item veto to the Buddy to Buddy program feels like a sign of disrespect. He said, “You don’t bargain with people that have served our country and are going through a difficult time with mental health.” He went on to call the $250,000 cut from the Buddy to Buddy program in a $59-billion budget “spiteful.”
Mueller, a Navy veteran, said those vetoes were done to bring the legislature back to the table to talk about road funding, but that the $250,000 she cut from the Buddy to Buddy program “can’t pave anything.” However, Mueller says that money could help a veteran with depression, suffering from substance abuse, or who is going through an otherwise hard time.
The program trains volunteer veterans to be able to talk with other vets facing a wide range of physical, mental, or financial concerns and connect them to help. Mueller said there is a lot of red tape when it comes to the federal government and veterans’ services. He said veterans service officers help guide the service members through the process.
Governor Whitmer’s spokesperson Tiffany Brown previously told WHMI that the Governor “had to make tough decisions” and that “If Republicans want to come back to the table to negotiate changes to the budget she signed, she is ready to talk.”(MK/JK)