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Washington, DC, May 23, 2019 | comments

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) released the following statement on securing a record $25 million in the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020 for Veterans Treatment Court programs. This historic level of funding falls under a larger Opioid Initiative passed by the committee that received $375 million to combat opioid abuse through funding of six other programs. The bill advanced through the full Appropriations Committee May 22, 2019 by a vote of 30-22 and is expected on the House floor in the coming weeks.

“Our servicemembers answer the call of duty and risk their lives to protect our nation. Unfortunately, after military service, too many veterans experience mental health issues, substance abuse, and homelessness,” said Crist. “Treatment courts offer veterans facing non-violent charges a second chance, keeping them out of jail and into the counseling, care, and support they need to heal.”

Clearwater, Florida is home to a highly regarded Veterans Treatment Court that functions in both Pinellas and Pasco counties. The court was established with state funding provided in 2013. The program works with local judges, police, local VA officials, veteran organizations, prosecutors, public defenders, and other community organizations – who come together to ensure the best possible outcomes for veterans facing the legal system.

Crist remains committed to enhancing our veteran treatment court programs with the reintroduction of his bipartisan Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act in the 116th Congress, which has over 100 bipartisan cosponsors.

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