ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There are an average of 20 veterans who take their lives every day. State lawmakers are pushing for a $500 million relief program that would provide aid for veterans, their families, and first responders. 

The proposal is called “Invest In Vets.” The money will go towards services like vet-to-vet counseling, mental health services, and treatment and research for post-traumatic stress disorder. One veteran said that asking for help is uncommon among those who serve and oftentimes wait until they’re already in crisis to do so. 

Veteran and Assemblymember Angelo Morinello further explained his support for the relief package: “It’s gonna assist the peer-to-peer. It’s gonna assist housing,” he said. “It’s gonna assist to make the physical structures that house the veteran organizations more stable.”

Lawmakers said they are only asking for $500 million of the $4.2 billion surplus in the proposed state budget. Now, it’s just a matter of distributing that money.