Monthly Column: Honoring All Who Have Served

 

By: Michael H. Ranzenhofer

 

It is so important that we remember the great sacrifices that our veterans have given to our nation.  

 

Last week, Governor Cuomo signed legislation, which I carried in the State Senate, to re-name Route 98 as the “Genesee and Orleans Veterans’ Memorial Highway.”  Last month, I joined members of the Wilson Family to unveil the interstate highway 990’s new designation as the “Staff Sergeant William R. Wilson III Memorial Highway.”

 

As we honor our distinguished military veterans throughout the month of November, I would like to share with you a number of other important State initiatives to support these courageous men and women.

 

New York State Senate’s “Hire-a-Vet” Plan Enacted

When our brave servicemen and women return home, they should be welcomed with the promise of economic opportunity.  That is why I supported a new tax credit to encourage businesses to hire veterans returning from military service.  This new tax credit equals 10 to 15 percent of wages paid.  After they have sacrificed so much to serve our nation, our veterans deserve the opportunity to secure good paying jobs.

 

Veterans Distinction for Driver Licenses

Residents who are military veterans can now apply for a special designation on their driver license when they apply for a license renewal.  If you are a qualified U.S. military veteran, who was honorably discharged, and you have a New York State driver license, learner permit or non-driver identification card, you can have the word “Veteran” printed on the upper left hand side of your photo document.  This new designation, which I proudly supported in the State Senate, eases the burden of needing to carry separate documentation to prove that you are a veteran of the United States Armed Forces. 

 

Funding Available for Veterans to Expand their Businesses

The State Comptroller’s Office recently announced $4 million in competitive, fixed-rate small business loans for military veterans through the New York Business Development Corporation.  The loans are provided to veteran-owned, State based small businesses for use towards working capital, equipment or real property.  The loans are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.

 

For more information about this new program and to find out if your company may be eligible, visit www.nybdc.com. 

 

Each one of these initiatives is an appropriate way to honor the many men and women who have served in the military and in our nation's conflicts over the years as a statement of our appreciation for their contributions to protect our freedoms.

 

As your State Senator, I am always looking for meaningful ways to pay tribute to New York State’s heroic veterans.  As we honor all of the veterans of the United States military this month, I ask that you keep them, as well as their families, in your thoughts and prayers.

Senator Ranzenhofer's monthly column appeared in the Amherst and Clarence Bee on November 20.