Posted on June 8, 2021
HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora on Tuesday offered a proposal to direct $16.7 million in state funds toward organizations whose aim is to assist veterans secure housing and critical wraparound services.
“That there are any men or women who served our nation in uniform struggling with basic necessities is a problem that should give everyone pause, and if there were ever a year to devote more financial resources to these individuals in need—this was it,” Candelora said.
Candelora and Republicans offered the concept as an amendment to H.B. 6687, controversial Democrat legislation that would instead use that amount of money to expand healthcare coverage to segments of the state’s population of undocumented immigrants.
Democrats rejected the veteran-focused plan (LCO 10564) from Republicans in a 95 to 51 vote.
“There are at-risk veterans who struggle with layers of challenges ranging from mental and physical health to food insecurity, and it’s disappointing that our colleagues across the aisle passed on a chance to provide much-needed financial resources to organizations whose staff dedicate themselves to helping these men and women get back on their feet,” Candelora said.
The amendment from Republicans sought to provide six organizations in different sections of the state with funding, including: Homes for the Brave and Female Soldiers in Bridgeport; South Park Inn Veterans’ Services in Hartford; Columbus House, Harkness House for Veterans in New Haven; Easterseals Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program in Norwich and Rocky Hill; New London Homeless Hospitality Center, 16 Transitional Housing for Veterans in New London; Fish of 17 Northwestern Connecticut, Life for Vets Program in Torrington.
Candelora added that the pandemic has only increased the challenges faced by at-risk veterans and the organizations that serve them, and that the combination of considerable federal aid and an historic Rainy Day fund provided legislators with the financial backdrop to help veterans.