Blaise Ingoglia seeks funding to up veteran services, medical research
Image via Colin Hackley.

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One request would bolster shuttle services for eligible Hernando County veterans to VA appointments.

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

The Spring Hill lawmaker asks the Legislature to allocate $175,000 to K9 Partners for Patriots. Based in Brooksville, the nonprofit rescues shelter dogs and pairs them as service-animal candidates with veterans. The nonprofit 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, independence, and relationships of our veterans,” the group explains in the appropriation request. “We also believe our veterans will see a greater decrease in suicidal ideation and behaviors, negative alterations, and a decrease in overall PTSD symptoms.”

A Senate District 10 candidate, Ingolgia also seeks to provide $3 million to Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the University of Florida. According to the request, the money would help offset expenses that exceed current federal grants. 

These funds will “support the development of major programmatic research initiatives related to Alzheimer’s and other dementia and Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders at the UF CTRND and within the state,” the Gainesville-based university said in the request. 

Ingolglia has filed nine appropriation requests ahead of the 2022 Legislative Session, which starts Jan. 11. Among them is a $250,040 request for the Ability Tree Florida R.E.S.T. Program. The group provides recreation, education, support, and training opportunities to families impacted by disabilities. 

According to the request, the money would bolster support groups, after-school programs, art classes, a mobile sensory room, and other respite programs.

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

Veterans in Hernando County may also benefit under a separate appropriations request. Ingoglia asks lawmakers to provide $150,000 to the county’s Veteran Ride Program. 

Provided at no cost by Mid-Florida Community Services, the program shuttles eligible Hernando County veterans to Veterans Affairs appointments and outpatient procedures. 

According to the request, more than 12,500 trips have been provided to veterans since the program’s 2016 inception. 

“Requested funding would be used to expand door-to-door transportation services, primarily to meet medical and nutritional need and expand employment access, of veteran clients and their spouses who provide proof of service,” says the appropriation request. 

A full list of Ingoglia’s appropriation requests is online. Other requests include funding for Brooksville Parks infrastructure improvements and $4.75 million to build a fire station in Wesley Chapel. 

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.



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