(Albany, NY) Yesterday, in recognition of 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day, the New York State Senate passed three bills sponsored by Senator John E. Brooks (SD-8). These bills provide career support to veterans, tax breaks to active duty personnel, and promote the importance of military service to this nation. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs, Senator Brooks continues to push for important benefits for veterans and active duty personnel and strives to make the transition back to civilian life as smooth as possible.
"Today, as every year, I am proud to celebrate and honor the men and women of Fort Drum. But tomorrow and every day after, the 80,000 troops trained annually at Fort Drum will devote their lives to service without asking for or receiving recognition," said Senator Brooks. "No matter the mission, in fields of operation from Somalia to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, service-members from Fort Drum have stood ready to answer when called upon since the very inception of our nation. Though only commemorated once a year, Fort Drum Day is our chance to say thank you for your constant vigilance and sacrifice. By passing these bills we recognize that those who volunteer to serve our country should be afforded benefits and support in recognition of their service and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country."
The three bills sponsored by Senator Brooks and passed today are:
- Veteran Career Assistance Program: This bill, S.3471A, will create a program within SUNY and CUNY systems to assist veterans in resume building and career searching. It will provide veterans with the tools to translate their military experiences and skills into a resume, and supportive employment placement services.
- Tax Exemptions for Property Owners: This bill, S.2930A, authorizes municipalities to offer real property tax exemption for residential property owned by active duty military personnel.
- Establishes Military Opportunities Day: This bill, S.6057, establishes November 1st of each year as Military Opportunities Day, to show support and encouragement of military service recruiters and those who seek to enlist in military service.
Additionally, the following bills from Senator Brooks’ committee were passed:
- The Outdoor RX Act : This bill S.6706A sponsored by Senator Brian Benjamin will require the Division of Veterans’ Services to work with other state offices to review issues facing veterans, their abilities to access state parks, lands, and facilities.
- Veteran Civil Service Credit: This bill S.3647 sponsored by Senator Andrew Gounardes will allow anyone who has served in the military to receive preferences and additional credits on competitive examinations for civil service appointments. Currently, the credit is only available to veterans who served during a time of war.
- Increases the Alternative Veterans Exemption: This bill, S.2570, sponsored by Senator Jamaal Bailey, provides additional real property tax exemption for two or more veterans living in the same household.