Devlin, veterans’ organizations unite to fight budget cuts

On Tuesday, State Rep. Laura Devlin (Fairfield & Trumbull) stood alongside the leadership of Connecticut’s veterans service organizations to urge the General Assembly to pass S.B. 289, which would reverse a planned funding cut to the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).  

Rep. Devlin, whose father, uncles, brother and nephew all served in the military, reassured veterans from across the state that she will honor the state’s commitment to veterans during the ongoing budget debate.  

Rep. Devlin said, “We cannot and should not balance the budget on the backs of our war veterans. Many of our Connecticut veterans come home with major health concerns that need to be treated, let’s honor our commitments and give them the care that they have earned and deserve.”

The House and Senate Republican budget, which was unveiled last week, would restore the $2 million cut the Department of Veterans Affairs is facing on July 1st.  

According the veterans’ organizations this scheduled cut is expected to lead to the closure of two wings of the Sgt. John L. Levitow Healthcare Center. The looming DVA budget cut comes as a result of a scrapped cost-savings plan that would have converted the Levitow Healthcare Center license from a chronic disease hospital to a nursing home, which was originally expected to save two million dollars. It was discovered that the licensing change would actually jeopardize millions of dollars in federal reimbursements, and the plan was canceled. However, the two million dollar cut to the DVA budget remained.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs Veterans’ Home at Rocky Hill and the Levitow Healthcare Center are critical lifelines for Connecticut’s veterans.

Participating organizations include the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, the Connecticut Military and Veterans Coalition, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Marine Corps League, Jewish War Veterans, and Franco American War Veterans.

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