Series of bills to benefit veterans and active service members
The State Senate marked an early Memorial Day by passing a series of bills to benefit veterans, military service members and their families.
The bills covered a broad range of topics, from a plan to create free fishing events to veterans and active duty service members (a bill cosponsored by Sen. Ritchie) to bills making more veterans eligible for property tax relief.
“Memorial Day reminds us to keep in our thoughts all of those who served and sacrificed for our freedom, but also to remember the many thousands of men and women from our communities who continue to serve our nation today,” Sen. Ritchie said. “I’m pleased that the Senate should choose this time to pause, and then act on measures that show our appreciation to these men and women.”
A bill sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) that could let military reservists cut their property tax bill was passed Monday by the Senate.
The measure, S.5231, gives local counties, cities, towns and villages an option to offer reservists the same property tax benefit that is currently available to other veterans who served their nation during specific periods of conflict.
“The changing nature of threats to our nation has also changed the demands that we put on the men and women of our military reserves, who are increasingly called upon to serve side by side with active duty military to defend our freedom and way of life,” Senator Ritchie said.
“These are our ‘citizen soldiers’ who often times interrupt their careers and spend long stretches away from the families, communities and friends—just like those in the active duty service—but aren’t entitled to the same benefits back home. This bill shows our gratitude and respect for all that they do for us.”
Senator Patty Ritchie pays tribute to the Oswego County Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge in a special video as part of the New York State Senate's Veterans Hall of Fame ceremony in Albany on Flag Day.
Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) celebrated Flag Day Tuesday by helping to induct the Oswego County “Battle of the Bulge” Veterans into the New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame.
"When American soldiers threw back the German offensive during World War II in the conflict that we now call the "Battle of the Bulge," they literally saved the world," Senator Ritchie said in a video tribute. "Those soldiers helped bring an end to the Nazi domination of Europe and paved the way for a new era of peace and Democracy that has flourished across Europe over the past half century.
Prevents Disruption While Families Mourn Fallen Heroes
State Senator Patty Ritchie said a measure she cosponsored that received final legislative approval will help prevent protesters from disrupting military funerals, burials and memorial services.
“When our military families gather to mourn and bid farewell to our fallen heroes, New York State owes it to them to protect them from those who would insult their sacrifice by exploiting these solemn occasions to stage protests and publicity stunts,” Senator Ritchie said. “By using the same kind of regulations that currently allow us to protect parades and demonstrations, we can insure that constitutional free speech rights are protected while grieving families are allowed to pay their final goodbyes to loved ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Sets Goal to Collect 100 Worn US Flags to Cheer Service Men and Women Abroad
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that she is seeking 100 worn, tattered and faded American flags during the month of October as part of her “Stars for Our Troops” campaign to cheer 5,000 US service men and women overseas with a simple, patriotic reminder of home.
“The men and women of our military spend months in strange and dangerous lands far from home to protect the flag and the freedom it represents,” said Senator Ritchie. “This campaign allows us to retire a worn and used American flag in a dignified way that also tells a member of the US military that he or she is remembered, appreciated and respected.”