Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called on the Assembly to fully fund or adopt three proposals, aimed at helping veterans and farmers, which the Senate has included in its one-house budget. Hawley emphasized the need for increased funding for localities to better address veterans’ mental health initiatives, the peer-to-peer mentoring program that assists veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), and Farm-Net. Hawley, a veteran of the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, currently serves as the Ranking Republican Member of the Assembly’s Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He has also been appointed to the Joint Senate and Assembly Budget Conference Committee on Mental Hygiene.

            “As a veteran, I understand the struggles that those who serve our military face when they return home,” Hawley said. “The peer-to-peer mentoring program and funding for mental health initiatives that the Senate has included in its budget are near and dear to my heart and will assist those who have defended our country with PTSD and other mental health issues they suffer while in combat. I have long advocated for veterans’ affairs because we owe those who have sacrificed so much the highest quality of care and access to services so they may return to the life they had before their service. I am calling on the Assembly to pass the Senate’s proposals and protect those who protect our nation.”

            Hawley, the former owner of Hawley Farms and representative of a district containing many farm operations, also advocated for an increase in funding for Farm-Net. The program allows health professionals access to farms to offer counseling on a variety of themes including family issues, software training and financial information. 

            “As the former owner of our family-owned farm, I know first-hand the sacrifices farm families make for their businesses,” Hawley said. “This is an extremely important initiative for the farms in my district as well as groups that advocate on behalf of agriculture producers. Farmers typically live in rural areas and are not afforded the same access to technology and financial information as other businesses. This funding will allow personal access to advisors who can assist farm families on budget issues and crucial financial facets of running a business. I am calling on the Assembly leadership to take up the Senate’s proposal and increase Farm-Net.” 

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