Senator Gounardes Passes Historic Veteran Benefits Legislation

Andrew Gounardes

May 17, 2019

 (Albany, NY)-  Today, the New York State Senate passed Senator Andrew Gounardes’ credit expansion for civil service appointments as part of a historic veteran benefits package. The bill, introduced and sponsored by the senator, allows anyone who served in the armed forces to receive credits for civil service appointments and promotions. Currently, the state only provides additional credits for veterans who served during wartime. The Senator’s bill will provide parity among all armed force veterans.

Senator Andrew Gounardes, said, “We must honor all the brave men and women who served in our military and choose to continue their public service by working in government. Passing this constitutional amendment will eliminate the barriers that help some veterans but hold others back. We should reward their service and give them every opportunity and benefit we can to help them succeed when they come home. I'm proud to be the lead sponsor of this measure, and I'll be even more proud when we finally enact this measure.”

In addition to Senator Gounardes’ credit expansion, the Senator voted for a host of other veteran benefits bills as part of his commitment to the men and women in uniform who perform a heroic service by making the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Included in the legislative package are bills that will:

-          Provide active duty personnel with property tax exemption.

-          Increase the Alternative Veterans Real Property tax exemption when two qualifying veterans reside in the same household.

-          Allow full-time undergraduate students enrolled at state-operated institutions will be able to receive academic credit for their military service or training.

-          Provide military voters the opportunity to vote in school district elections by allowing them to return their absentee ballot by postal mail.

The legislation was passed on the annual 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day, which highlights the contributions made by the men and women of the North Country’s military installation to the region and state.