Lawmakers seek better access to benefits, quality health care for vets
LANSING — House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) announced today that the Michigan House Democrats have formed a task force that will help veterans access the services and health care they deserve.
“As we approach Memorial Day, when we honor brave service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, my fellow Democrats and I are committed to making sure these brave men and women get all the recognition they deserve,” Greimel said. “We owe it to serving veterans to ensure they receive needed benefits and quality care after their service is over.”
During the budget process, Republicans made clear that any stated claim of helping Michigan veterans is simply lip service. Democrats offered amendments that would have provided funding for mental health care for veterans and increased safeguards against maltreatment at veterans homes, but Republicans voted them down. In response, House Democrats have formed a task force to speak to vets directly and find out how the state can serve them better.
The co-chairmen of the task force are veterans themselves: state Representative David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights), who served two tours in the Marine Corps in the Iraq War, and Rep. Harvey Santana (D-Detroit), a Navy veteran who served during Operation Desert Storm. Other members of the task force are Reps. George T. Darany (D-Dearborn), Andrew Kandrevas (D-Southgate), Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser), Charles Smiley (D-Burton) and Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights).
“It was insulting to see those amendments that would have done so much good for our state’s veterans get voted down on the House floor. Clearly, House Republicans only support vets when they think someone’s watching,” Greimel said. “If they refuse to do what’s right for our brave men and women, Democrats will reach out to veterans directly and do everything we can to get them the service they deserve.”
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State Representative David Knezek
11th House District