This Memorial Day, Veterans First: Senate Passes Legislation to Benefit New York’s Servicemen and Women
The New York State Senate passed a package of nine bills this week which will expand or launch new benefits programs for the brave New Yorkers who have fought for our nation’s freedom.
“Our veterans and active military personnel have made brave sacrifices on behalf of us all in their service to the nation,” Senator Montgomery said. “From access to housing, health care, and educational opportunities, the service that veterans have provided to our country entitles them to the very best from their state government, and New York aims to give it to them."
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced three new initiatives to help veterans obtain affordable housing upon their return to New York State. The Governor is committing $25 million to housing assistance for veterans, giving veterans preference in Section 8 housing, and expanding the state's mortgage assistance program to include active duty service members.
"We called upon our young men and women to serve after September 11, and now we must do all that we can to help them as they return home," Governor Cuomo said. "These programs will aid our veterans as they transition back to civilian life and give them the assistance they need to obtain stable and affordable housing in New York."
Governor Cuomo released the following announcement on March 27, 2012:
The Budget continues the Governor’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while creating jobs and strengthening communities across the state. It closes a multi-billion dollar deficit with no new taxes, fees or gimmicks, limits spending growth to two percent or below for the second year in a row, and launches the New York Works Task Force to invest billions of dollars to rebuild the state's roads, bridges, parks, and other infrastructure and create tens of thousands of jobs.
Job Mashariki, former President/CEO and Founder of Black Veterans for Social Justice was named today to the NYS Senate Veterans' Hall of Fame. State Senator Velmanette Montgomerynominated Mr. Mashariki for this special designation. He served his country honorably as a Specialist Four in the United States Army.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the proposed 2013-14Executive Budget and Management Plan that builds on two years of balanced, fiscally responsible budgeting and invests in economic development, education reform, rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, provides support to local governments and school districts, and includes no new taxes or fees.
Highlights of the Executive Budget:
· Eliminates $1.3 billion budget gap with no new taxes or fees. The expected gap for 2013-14 was projected to be $17.4 billion prior to the last two responsible budgets.
· Holds spending increases below 2 percent for third consecutive year.
The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) is setting new rules to speed the processing of insurance claims in areas affected by Storm Sandy. The new regulation reduces the amount of time an insurer can delay its decision on a claim, and requires insurers to report to the Department on how many claims it is delaying and the reasons for the delays.
Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.
-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.