Senator Golden Joins State Effort To Offer New York's National Guardsmen Life Insurance Policies Valued At $250,000

Martin J. Golden

February 09, 2005

Albany- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), a member of the State Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, today is announcing his sponsorship of the "New York National Guard Homefront Relief Act" (S. 925-A). This bill would provide critical financial support for New York National Guard troops and their families by having the State pay for $250,000 of life insurance for every active member of the State’s National Guard.

Senator Marty Golden stated, "As the War on Terrorism continues to require the support and the involvement of our citizen soldiers, I strongly support this legislative attempt to be there for those New Yorkers who have paid the ultimate price. While no amount of money will lessen the pain of military families who lose a loved one in this war against terrorism, this plan will help those National Guard families with the wherewithal to plan for their futures."

Senator Marty Golden continued, "New York has lost 13 members of the National Guard since the beginning of the war on terror. In the memory of these brave individuals, both New Yorkers and Americans at heart, we must insure that for any future fallen heroes, we need to be there and stand ready to assist their families. These are the families that have sacrificed so much already so that you and me, and our families, can live in freedom and with rights and liberties."

Under the "New York National Guard Homefront Relief Act" all active members of the New York State National Guard would be eligible for a free $250,000 life insurance policy. All premiums would be paid for by the State at no cost to the Guard members or their families. The Superintendent of the State Insurance Department would implement the program. Currently, there are 5,549 New York residents who are active with the National Guard.

Senator Marty Golden last year voted in support of the State’s passage Patriot Act II which included numerous provisions to enhance the benefits available to National Guardsmen. Benefit enhancement included provisions to exempt National Guard’s pay from State taxes, increase the rate of pay for New York State Military Personnel by 25% per diem, and expand eligibility for tuition awards.

Senator Golden concluded, "The New York National Guard have always distinguished themselves as they so proudly serve our State and our Nation. As they serve, we have a responsibility to serve, to respect and to honor their commitment and sacrifice. We have all heard and read too many stories of families and loved ones left with nothing when their spouse, son or daughter dies in combat. This legislation will ensure that this never happens again to a New York Guard family."

Senator Marty Golden serves on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs. Mr. Golden served in the New York National Guard for six years.