Senator Larkin announced today that the Veterans Buyback Bill also known as the Veterans’ Equality Act has been sent to Governor Cuomo for his signature. Senator Larkin unanimously passed S5937 near the end of the 2015 legislative session. Assemblywoman Amy Paulin passed a companion bill A8174a in the Assembly.
The bi-partisan bill that passed both houses has an appropriation of $24.8 million. According to the Assembly sponsor of this bill, the $24.8 million estimate was provided by the division of the budget.
“I am excited that our veterans buyback bill was sent to the Governor,” said Senator Bill Larkin (R,C – Cornwall-On-Hudson). “Regardless of where and when our veterans have served they are owed this debt of gratitude.”
This legislation would allow all honorably discharged veterans who are members of a New York State retirement system to purchase service credit for up to three years of military service performed. Under current law, only veterans who served during certain specified periods of war are eligible for this benefit. The current law excludes many of our veterans.
“Allowing veterans to improve their retirement to assure a greater financial security is a small price to pay for all they have done for our State and our Country,” said Larkin. “It is an absolute shame that our Afghanistan veterans and those who have fought in other recent conflicts are not eligible for this military service credit in New York State due to the current law.”