HYDE PARK, NY – With Governor Kathy Hochul’s Executive Budget Proposal recently released, Senator Serino is applauding the inclusion of almost $8 million to fully fund and expand the highly successful Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Program statewide—a move Serino has actively been pushing for.
"In November, I was proud to lead a bipartisan effort urging Governor Hochul to commit to fully funding the Vet2Vet Program in her first Executive Budget Proposal, and I am thrilled to see today that, unlike in past years, our voices have been heard and funding has actually been included at this stage in the process to expand this lifesaving program,” said Senator Serino. “Many issues transcend politics, and expanding a critical program like Vet2Vet that helps so many is one of them. As we move forward with the state budget process, I will continue to do all that I can to ensure that this critical funding makes it into the final enacted budget so that New York’s veterans and their families have access to the quality, local services they deserve.”
The Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program, named after PFC Joseph Dwyer, an army veteran who lost his life to PTSD, offers non-clinical support for veterans by veterans and works to ensure they have access to the resources they need to thrive in civilian life.
Currently, the Dwyer Program operates in over 30 counties across the state, with Dutchess and Putnam counties receiving $185,000 each to operate their programs. In past years, former Governor Cuomo failed to include funding for the program in his Executive Budget Proposal, leaving it up to the Legislature to ensure funding for Vet2Vet made it into the final enacted budget. Following a recent bipartisan push lead by local lawmakers and veterans, in her first Executive Budget Proposal, Governor Hochul has included $7.7 million to expand the program statewide.
Senator Serino first became aware of the program through her Veterans Advisory Board, during her first term in office, and as a result, was able to successfully bring the program to Dutchess County. Since then, she has successfully advocated to preserve the programs in both Dutchess and Putnam counties each year.