Owen H. Johnson

April 26, 2012

Legislation Would Help Veterans Get Jobs

The New York State Senate today welcomed cadets and staff from the United States Military Academy at West Point as part of an annual day of recognition. In honor of the celebration, the Senate passed several bills focusing on helping veterans obtain jobs and protect their rights.

West Point Day provides an opportunity for the Legislature to meet distinguished cadets and officers from the Military Academy and show appreciation for their service. The historic educational institution perched on the Hudson River is a source of tremendous pride for New Yorkers, and its graduates have gone on to become presidents and our nation’s top military leaders. The Senate adopted a resolution recognizing West Point’s contributions to our state and nation and acted on legislation focused on veterans’ issues. 

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said, “We are so fortunate to have a renowned institution like West Point here in New York. As we meet the cadets, we are reminded of the courage they and those who came before them have demonstrated to keep our country free. In recognition of the sacrifices of our veterans and active duty military, the Senate approved legislation today that provides valuable assistance here at home.”
A bill (S.4262) sponsored by Senator Lee Zeldin (R-C-I, Shirley) allows veterans who have received combat decorations to be provided with additional credit towards civil service employment was passed by the Senate today. This would reward those who acted bravely as they seek to reenter the job market.

Two other pieces of legislation passed today also seek to provide veterans with additional credit towards civil service exams. Legislation (S.1311) sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) allows veterans to receive additional civil service credit if they become classified as a veteran with a disability after taking the exam. Legislation (S.3406) sponsored by Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) allows qualified veterans to add veterans' credits to civil service competitive examination scores at any point prior to the expiration of the eligible list, including those examinations for appointments and promotions to the state police.
Another bill (S.2421) would protect voting rights by requiring the absentee or military ballots of any active duty service member be counted even if the service member dies before the date of the election for which it was cast.

The bills will be sent to the Assembly, except for S.1311, a constitutional amendment, which has passed the Assembly and must be passed again by the next Legislature before it can go before voters for approval.