Veteran services

Blaise Ingoglia seeks funds to improve veterans services and medical research

Rep. Republican. Blaise Ingolgia files a slew of appropriation requests, including a proposal to expand mental health services for veterans in Florida.

The Spring Hill legislator is asking the Legislature to allocate $175,000 to K9 Partners for Patriots. Based in Brooksville, the nonprofit rescues shelter dogs and matches them as service animal candidates with veterans. The nonprofit organization will use the funds to expand mental health support groups for veterans and their families.

“The expected benefit is an overall improvement in the mental health, self-reliance and relationships of our veterans,” the group explains in the credit application. “We also believe our veterans will see a greater decrease in suicidal ideation and behavior, negative alterations, and a decrease in overall PTSD symptoms.”

A candidate for Senate District 10, Ingolgia is also seeking to provide $3 million for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research in the University of Florida. Depending on the application, the money would help offset expenses that exceed current federal grants.

These funds “will support the development of important programmatic research initiatives related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders at UF CTRND and within the ‘State,’ the Gainesville-based university said in the application.

Ingolglia filed nine appropriations requests ahead of the 2022 legislative session, which begins Jan. 11. Among them, a request for $250,040 for the Ability Tree Florida REST Program. The group provides recreational, educational, support and training opportunities for families affected by disabilities.

Depending on demand, the money would strengthen support groups, after-school programs, art classes, a mobile sensory room and other respite programs.

“We have letters and messages of support from the families of the more than 500 children we have served and hundreds of families in our database so far,” the nonprofit told lawmakers in the written request.

Hernando County veterans may also qualify for a separate credits application. Ingoglia asks lawmakers to provide $150,000 to the county Veterans Hiking Program.

Provided free of charge by Mid-Florida Community Services, the program transports eligible Hernando County veterans to veterans appointments and outpatient procedures.

According to demand, more than 12,500 trips have been offered to veterans since the program’s inception in 2016.

“The requested funding would be used to expand door-to-door transportation services, primarily to meet the medical and nutritional needs and expand employment access, of veterans and their spouses who provide proof of service,” indicates the credit request.

A complete list of Ingoglia credit requests is online. Other requests include funding for Brooksville Parks Infrastructure Improvements and $4.75 million to build a fire station in the Wesley Chapel.

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