State Representatives Ben McGorty (R-122) and Jason Perillo (R-113) called on Governor Dannel Malloy to reverse his executive order cutting funding to Honor Guard details provided by the state for funerals of veterans. The executive order was issued by the governor to provide for operation of state government while no state budget is in place nearly three months after the conclusion of the 2017 legislative session, and two months after the start of the current fiscal year.
“We understand that the governor has to run state government, and that he has to find cuts facing a massive $5.1 billion deficit,” said Rep. McGorty. “But short-changing those who served and sacrificed for the freedom of our nation by cutting funding for their military honors as they are laid to rest is disgraceful. Maintaining such honors should be a priority.”
“Needing to find places to cut and save is understandable – taking away the final military honors from a veteran who served his country is not,” said Rep. Perillo. “If this is what we are being handed due to legislative Democrats being inert on the budget, they should really reexamine their priorities.”
McGorty and Perillo both noted that the budget proposals advanced by the House Republicans since April all kept the Honor Guard detail funding in place, but majority Democrats have refused to even debate the GOP budget proposal. Instead, Democrats have yet to propose a budget for the fiscal year which began on July 1, forcing the governor to operate state government through executive order.
Federal law requires that those who served in the armed forces of the United States receive military funeral honors, are provided with a playing of taps, and a flag-folding and presenting detail of no fewer than two soldiers, one of whom must be of the same branch of service to the veteran being laid to rest. This is provided at no charge to the next of kin.
The state’s Honor Guard, operated under the State Military Department, had been providing a rifle team to fire a salute of three volleys at military funerals, rounding out what would be considered full military honors. It is this item that has been cut.
No date has been set as of today for the General Assembly to take up a new biennial budget.