SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Senator Daphne Jordan, a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, today was joined by combat veteran Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, VFW Post 420 Commander Harold Patchen and Saratoga County Veterans Director Frank McClement at Gurtler Bros. VFW Post 420 in Saratoga Springs to announce new legislation to provide much-needed relief to veterans services organizations throughout New York State.
The bill (S.8504), known as the Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) COVID-19 Relief Act, would establish a $10 million fund to provide grants of up to $50,000 to provide financial support to veterans service organizations throughout the state.
“Our veterans services organizations provide such important support and services to our veterans and our communities as a whole. Many of these organizations have struggled financially throughout the pandemic, particularly since many of their traditional fundraising activities were shut down. This bill would help them get back on their feet so they can continue to provide critical support and fellowship for our community heroes,” said Senator Jordan.
“As a veteran of the National Guard, I know firsthand what an important role these organizations play for veterans of all ages. I want to thank Senator Jordan for recognizing this tremendous need. VSOs support not only our veterans, but our communities as well, and this important bill will help alleviate distress to them during this crucial time as they recover from the pandemic,” said Leader Ortt.
“Our Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 420 is 100 percent committed to assisting, supporting, and honoring America’s military heroes who served and sacrificed in defense of our freedom. I appreciate this new legislation being advanced by Senator Jordan that will provide much-needed financial support and relief for our VSOs, as well as Senator Jordan’s continued dedication to helping and serving our veterans as a member of the Senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee and her tireless advocacy for the Dwyer program and our military families,” said VFW Post 420 Commander Harold Patchen.
“Saratoga County is rightly seen as a leader in delivering vital support services such as the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Veteran’s Counseling Program, and countless other proven programs and policies that help veterans, active-duty personnel, and military families. I am proud to support the new, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Jordan that places the state’s focus where it properly belongs -- assisting the Veterans Service Organizations that continue doing a fantastic job serving New York’s military veterans and keeping these fraternal bonds strong. I am hopeful this important bill will see swift and overwhelming passage this session, so our Veteran's Service Organizations receive much-needed help to maintain their operations,” said Saratoga County Veterans' Service Agency Director Frank McClement.
Under the proposed Veterans Service Organizations COVID-19 Relief Act, veterans service organizations – including VFW’s, American Legions and others – would have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to help them with expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, debt payments, or necessary business expenses including maintenance costs, administrative costs, state and local taxes and fees, operating leases and insurance payments.