New York State Senator Eric Adams, Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, convened a meeting of the Committee on Tuesday, March 3, 2009. Although this was the second occasion the Committee met, it was the first for which specific legislation was under deliberation. Chairman Adams placed four bills on the agenda:
S.38 by Senator Fuschillo-This bill adds language designating the time period starting Sept. 11, 2001 to the present day as "The War on Terror" and allowing those who have served in the armed forces from such time to qualify for local alternative property tax exemption (a 15% reduction in the assessed value).
S.140 by Senator Sampson-This bill creates a 100% exemption from property tax for 100% disabled veterans or their surviving spouses.
S.1195A by Senator Fuschillo- This bill creates a $500,000 grant through the Department of Veteran Affairs that will train social workers to diagnose and treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), and other combat related mental health issues, including substance abuse.
S.1384 by Senator Stavisky-This bill permits local governments to issue a tax abatement for disabled veterans who reside in rent controlled apartments. This abatement is currently extended to seniors and the disabled.
All four bills were successfully voted out of Committee, with S.1195A reported to the Finance Committee. The next meeting of the Committee will be March 17, 2009.