June 4, 2024


Delegate Mike Cherry (R-Colonial Heights) issued the below statement concerning the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program:

“Despite significant work behind the scenes, it appears that Democratic leadership will not call legislators back to Richmond to reverse the recently adopted changes to VMSDEP. This failure to act essentially abandons veterans and Gold Star families who made significant plans based on a promise that has now been broken.

“While it was necessary to adopt the budget last month, VMSDEP changes should not have been part of the process. Changes to eligibility requirements–which very well may be needed to ensure the program’s long term viability–should have been considered as a stand alone bill after thorough study and public input.

“The General Assembly is currently in special session and can return to fix this issue. It is incredibly disheartening to read reports that some Democratic legislators believe it is ‘too hard’ for delegates and senators to return to the Capitol during the summer. Fighting in a war is hard work. Missing a day of your vacation to take a few votes is easy. To claim anything else is quite frankly a middle finger to veterans and Gold Star families.

“Democratic leaders put these rushed changes to VMSDEP eligibility requirements in the state budget. They must now ask us to return to Richmond before the end of the fiscal year to fix this mistake.”