Perillo, McGorty push for disabled parking for veterans with PTSD

State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113) and Ben McGorty (R-122) are cosponsoring a bill this session of the Connecticut General Assembly that will qualify veterans that suffer from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, for removable state-issued disabled parking placards that will allow them to park in designated handicapped parking spaces.  A public hearing was held on the bill today in the Veteran’s Affairs Committee.

“Following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Connecticut has a significant number of veterans who served in combat, and who have returned to us after their honorable service with wounds and trauma that aren’t always obvious to casual observation,” said Rep. Perillo, who submitted testimony in favor of the bill to the Veteran’s Committee.  “For combat veterans who have physical disabilities resulting from their service, we make this accommodation.  It is time for us to recognize mental disabilities in a similar fashion.”

“We are coming to understand deep connections between trauma such as PTSD and numerous physical ailments such as dementia, heart disease and high blood pressure,” said Rep. McGorty.  “The treatment these veterans receive for combat-inflicted mental disabilities deserves every bit as much of our consideration and accommodation as physical injuries they might sustain.”

Perillo and McGorty noted that post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders are real and significant disabilities that have deep and lasting impacts on these veterans, their overall health and their loved ones.  This bill is but a small gesture, but makes a meaningful recognition of these disabilities, making their world a little more comfortable as they try to navigate the challenges of their afflictions, they said.

The bill, HB 7178, An Act Concerning Removable Windshield Placards for Certain Veterans remains before the legislature’s Transportation Committee and awaits action there.  This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.