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Senator Ball Passes Three Bills Through Veterans' Committee


New York Veterans Urge Assembly to Also Pass Major Legislation that Guarantees Veterans Property Tax for Surviving Spouses, and Establishes Atomic War Veterans and War on Terror Expeditionary Medals

ALBANY, NY (2/15/2011) - Veterans groups throughout New York State have applauded Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) for passing three major veterans bills during the February 15thSenate Committee meeting on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs, and they are calling on the State Assembly to do the same. Each bill was reported without objection, including major legislation to guarantee the veterans property tax exemption for surviving spouses, and to establish medals for Atomic War Veterans and War on Terror Veterans

“Our veterans raised their right hand and were willing to fight and die for our country and the least we can do is meet the promises we made to them as they first entered the service and raised that right hand. Let's get these bills through the Assembly and place them on the Governor’s desk to be signed into law this year,” Ball said.In addition to receiving unanimous support in Committee, the three bills have received statewide support from veterans groups.

 “The American Legion, Department of New York, supports and urges passage of recent legislation enacted by the New York Senate Veterans Committee, including legislation to extend the veterans property tax exemption to surviving spouses. This guarantee is a matter of fairness because it is a continuation of the benefits already earned by veterans who have served our country,” said Joseph Barry, Legislative Committee Director of the American Legion, Department of New York.

"Because of the residual effects of their combat experience, many veterans have been unable to reach the career earning potentials they might otherwise have achieved,” said  Norman Bussel, Veterans Service Officer at the Montrose V.A. Hospital and a member of American Ex-Prisoners of War. “This leaves their widows in challenging financial circumstances for the remainder of their lives.  Granting property tax exemption to these surviving spouses will provide a great relief from the hardships of their steadily dwindling income."

“To my knowledge, New York is the first State to even acknowledge that THE ATOMIC VETERAN even existed,” said Edward A. Gettler, New York State Area Commander of the National Association of Atomic Veterans. “On behalf of the NYS Atomic Veterans, I thank Senator Greg Ball for his total commitment to our veterans and their family. Senator Ball drafted this very important Legislation, not only for New York State Atomic Veterans, but for all of the American Atomic Veterans. This legislation will mark New York as the first State to recognize Her Atomic Vets, and it could be the beginning of a total United States Recognition Program for our Atomic Veterans.”

On March 14, Senator Greg Ball has invited these statewide veterans organizations, as well as the thousands of veterans living in the Hudson Valley, to march on Albany for a 1:00pm Veterans Rally outside the State Capitol to advocate for these bills and other much needed veteran services. Senator Ball has also scheduled a Public Hearing of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs to be hear testimony on veterans services, post-traumatic stress disorder, veteran joblessness and homelessness, workforce transition, and family support services. The hearing will begin at 11AM and be held in Room 124 of the State Capitol.