A couple of weeks ago on the radio show we had a call-in guest, Bob Garguilo of the Brigantine Elks Veterans Committee, who explained how cuts of up to $2 million to the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs has negatively impacted our veterans.
Garguilo and others volunteer their time to our veterans. One of the bigger outings they have for the veterans is the Army – Navy Game, usually three bus loads of vets. This year, after the first bus arrived, the other two never showed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the second two busses failed to show that Garguilo, the other volunteers and the veterans learned the busses weren’t coming due to budget cuts.
Listen to the interview here:
As was pointed out on the show it is “uncomfortably coincidental” that up to $2 million was cut from our veterans while Governor Phil Murphy can find $2 million for a defense fund for illegal immigrants.
According to the “Analysis Of The New Jersey Budget Department Of Military And Veterans’ Affairs”:
The Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, under the direction of the Adjutant General of New Jersey, is responsible for supporting the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard, administering programs and services for the 371,5181 veterans living in New Jersey, and managing and operating three veterans’ memorial homes: Menlo Park Veterans’ Memorial Home, Paramus Veterans’ Memorial Home, and Vineland Veterans’ Memorial Home. The FY 2019 Governor’s Budget recommends $171.5 million, in total funding for the operation and support of the department, a reduction of 0.8 percent. This total consists of $95.5 million in State funds; $71.1 million in federal funds; and $4.9 million in other funds. Compared to FY 2018, State funds decrease by $1.2 million (-1.24 percent). Federal and other funds decrease by insignificant amounts.
Right there, in black and white, is $1.2 million, but digging deeper it appears it is possible even more was cut:
As displayed above, FY 2018 supplemental appropriations totaling $1 million are projected to be allocated to the homes, divided nearly equally among them. The OLS has received conflicting information as to which of the two language provision serves as the authority for these supplemental appropriations. If the former, then their exclusion from FY 2019 recommended appropriations is consistent with budgetary convention; if the latter, then the impact of the funding decrease may be a reduction in transportation services to residents of the homes.
It appears given two busses didn’t show up at the event, “if the latter, then the impact of the funding decrease may be a reduction in transportation services to residents of the homes” is exactly what happened.
The question has to be asked, why is it that at least $1.2 million and possibly as much as $2 million was cut from our veterans, yet Phil Murphy can find $2.1 million for the legal defense of illegal immigrants?
$2.1 million that could be spent doing good for those who served our country is instead being spent on people who are here illegally. There is something obviously wrong with that!
It is unfortunate that it appears Murphy cares more about illegal immigrants than our veterans. Hopefully, New Jersey’s press doesn’t give the governor a free pass on this issue when he gets back from vacation. Time will tell, but we’re going to stay on top of this.