Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Dutchess/Columbia) announced that three pieces of veteran-focused legislation that she sponsors were signed into law today as part of Veterans Day bill signings. Assemblymember Barrett is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs, and has been a leader in supporting veterans issues in the legislature. Todays signings make improvements to New York State policies on veterans employment, property taxes, and discharge upgrades.
The men and women who have served our country have earned a government that responds to their needs, Assemblymember Barrett said. The legislation signed today does just that by addressing critical services for New Yorks veterans. The services addressed in these new laws touch on federal, state, and local veteran and active duty benefits, which is part of a comprehensive approach to ensuring every veteran is treated fairly under the law. Whether a veteran is applying for a discharge upgrade or a New York State job opportunity, these laws create a fairer and more accessible process. Im proud to have sponsored these new laws, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his support.
The three pieces of legislation signed today are A.8095-A, codifying the Division of Veterans Services Discharge Upgrade Advisory Board, a program that helps veterans upgrade discharges given as a result of unfair or discriminatory practices; A.6297, which requires clear labeling of NYS jobs made available under the 55-c program, a program that helps disabled veterans find employment with New York State; and A7289, allowing municipalities to extend the current disabled veterans property tax exemption to disabled active duty military members.
In addition to the three bills sponsored by Assemblymember Barrett, the Governor signed 11 other pieces of legislation. A complete list of the laws signed today is as follows, with the sponsor of the legislation in parenthesis:
- A.8095-A (Barrett) - codifies the NYS Division of Veterans Services Discharge Upgrade Advisory Board.
- A.7289 (Barrett) - Allows municipalities to create a property tax exemption for active duty service members to match the exemption already available for veterans.
- A.6297 (Barrett) - improves labeling of NYS jobs made available to disabled veterans, so that veterans can more easily apply.
- A.5660 (Assemblymember Nily Rozic) - Commissions a study on homeless veterans in New York State.
- A.7594 (Assemblymember Pamela Hunter) - Empowers the NYS Women Veteran Coordinator to carry out her duties on behalf of New Yorks women veterans
- A.7293 (Assemblymember Fred Thiele) - Allows military ballots to be made available for school district elections, providing our service members to fully participate in local elections.
- A.8096 (Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer-Amato) - Requires county-level veteran service agencies to inform veterans about the Discharge Upgrade Advisory Board.
- A.1804 (Assemblymember Charles Lavine) - Expands access to information on service-related health issues.
- A.4413 (Assemblymember Steve Stern) - requires a list of county-level veteran service agencies on the NYS Division of Veterans Services website, to facilitate awareness of local services.
- A.6792-A (Assemblymember Steve Stern) - Improves access to the Division of Veterans Services mobile app.
- A.8282 (Assemblymember Peter Abbate) - Allows veterans taking the civil service exams in New York City to deduct up to seven years of military service time, one more than the previous limit of six years, from their age in order to qualify.
- A.1093 (Assemblymember Amy Paulin) - Allows municipalities to provide veteran employees with additional time off for health reasons without loss of pay. This extends a program available to New York State employees.
- A.7234 (Assemblymember Fred Thiele) and A.8109 (Assemblymember Carrie Woerner) - These two bills authorize four counties - Nassau, Suffolk, Washington, and Saratoga - to waive fees for certain building costs for not-for-profit veterans organizations.