Proos ensures funding for Veterans Courts

Sen. John Proos announced today that the Judiciary budget for Fiscal Year 2014 will include $500,000 specifically for counties across the state to operate veterans courts.

“We owe our freedoms to the men and women who put their country before themselves and fought to protect America. One way we can honor the heroes who never came home is to do all we can to support their fellow soldiers when they struggle,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Michigan’s Veterans Courts are designed to help veterans struggling with addiction and mental illness, such as post-traumatic stress. These courts assist veterans in trouble by treating conditions, which often are a result of their service.

“As Senate chair of the Judiciary budget, I worked to fund these courts because it helps our veterans recover and also helps reduce the prison costs paid by taxpayers.”

The bipartisan members of the joint Senate-House conference committee for the Judiciary budget, sponsored by Proos, unanimously approved the budget plan on Thursday. The committee’s report of Senate Bill 191 now heads to the full Senate for approval.

The committee action followed Proos’ participation in the Senate’s 19th Annual Memorial Day Service, which honored Michigan residents killed in action during the previous 12 months.

“It is a solemn honor to be a part of the Senate’s ceremony remembering Michigan’s fallen heroes who protected our lives at the cost of their own,” Proos said. “On Friday, I was able to help show my gratitude to our local Southwest Michigan heroes by walking in the St. Joseph Memorial Day ceremony and parade, and I look forward to honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom throughout the weekend.”

Proos noted that residents can pay tribute to fallen service personnel at several Memorial Day ceremonies or parades planned throughout Southwest Michigan or by flying the flag at home or the office at half-staff from sunrise to noon.

Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos will be available later on the senator’s webpage at Click on “Podcasts.”