When I got wind of the potential budget cut in Louisianan that would directly impact our Veterans and their families, I was very upset. Yes, times are tight and budgets need to be cut, that is understandable. There is so much pork spending out there that needs to go away. But, when it comes to our very patriotic state with 304,889 veterans who have served honorably and selflessly, this is where budget cuts need to draw the line. They have made brave sacrifices and are entitled to services above and beyond the average citizen (in my honest opinion). Not only will this impact the veterans of today, but those from previous generations that honorably served. I am also very concerned about the mental and physical well-being of today’s returning war heroes and believe cutting any service that may potentially help them is unjust.
Fact: May 17th House Bill 1 (HB1) was passed by the House Appropriations Committee and in it was a cut of $932,124 for the LDVA
Fact: Earlier in the year the LDVA reduced its’ budget from $7,780,946 to $5,471,734, a reduction of $2,309,212
Fact: Department’s overall budget calls for a modest increase, up from $49,760,550 to $53,879,388. This is due to increases in Federal and Self-Generated funds secured by the Department through a strategic plan which was successfully implemented in 2008.
Fact: If the revisions are accepted $932,124 will be cut
Fact: Veterans Service Offices are in place to assist veterans in getting the services they are entitled to, including: getting help with bills, long term care solutions, and navigating the health and mental health VA system and alternate resources.
Fact: If HB1 passes, 22 Veterans Parish Service Offices would be closed, with a direct impact on 30,734 Louisiana Veterans and their families: Allen, Beauregard, Bienville, Cameron, Catahoula, Desoto, East Carroll, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Red River, Richard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. Martin, Tensas, Union, West Baton Rouge, and West Carroll.
Fact: If HB1 passes it would delay the opening of the CENLA Veterans Cemetery in Leesville
Fact: If HB1 passes burial operations at its NWLA Veterans Cemetery in Keithville would cease.
Fact: If HB1 passes the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal program would shut down
Call to action: Secretary of the LDVA, Lane Carson is encouraging all Louisiana Veterans and their supporters to contact their area Legislators and voice their opposition to the revisions passed by the House Appropriations Committee.