Vetoed Veterans Equality Act Passes Assembly Governmental Employees Committee

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Assemblyman Peter Abbate discuss legislation at today’s Governmental Employees Committee meeting.

Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Kings), Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees, and the committee’s Ranking Minority Member, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island), announced today that the committee moved to pass Assembly Bill 4313-A, which was vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo after passing both houses last year. Assemblymembers Abbate and Malliotakis are co-sponsors of the bill.

This legislation, known as the Veterans Equality Act, would allow public employees who are veterans of U.S. military service to buy back up to three years of state service credit toward their pension. It would allow all public employees to be eligible if they had at least five years of actual service credit and were honorably discharged from military service, regardless of when or where they served.

“Once again, the Assembly has shown its concern for veterans by passing the Veterans Equality Act. It is our hope the Governor will reconsider his opposition to this important piece of legislation for those who served,” said Abbate.

“Our veterans have made tremendous sacrifices on behalf of New Yorkers and all Americans, and the least we can do is ensure they receive the benefits they deserve,” said Malliotakis. “It is absurd that our state does not provide equal benefits to all honorably-discharged veterans, regardless of where and when they served. All our veterans should be treated equally because they all were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. I hope this legislation will be signed into law this year once and for all.”

Despite being vetoed by the governor a few days shy of Veterans Day 2014, the Veterans Equality Act has been reintroduced with an overwhelming 103 bi-partisan sponsors.