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Delgado, Stefanik push for more funding for veterans’ services

WASHINGTON — Ahead of Veterans’ Day, U.S. Reps. Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, and Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, announced Thursday a new effort to secure federal funding for New York veterans’ cemeteries.

The move comes just over a week after the House passed a bipartisan bill introduced by Stefanik and Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., that would establish a program within the Department of Justice to give grants and assistance to states and municipalities to develop and maintain special courts with the goal of rehabilitating veterans who commit non-violent crimes. It has not yet passed the Senate.

The first veteran treatment court in the nation was established in New York in 2008, a spokesman for the New York State Unified Court System said. The state now has 37 in operation.

“Unfortunately, due to the stressors and psychological impact of their service, some veterans become entangled in the criminal justice system,” Stefanik said. “This bill gives non-violent offenders a chance to rehabilitate themselves through a special program tailored to the unique needs of veterans.”

Both Stefanik and Delgado represent districts with some of the highest percentages of veterans in the state. In Stefanik’s sprawling 21st District, 8.9 percent of the population 18 years and older are veterans, according to …read more

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