Senate approves Addabbo bill granting college credits to veterans

The NYS Senate passed a bill sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., S.2680A, providing academic credit at state-operated institutions to veterans based on their training and experience. In addition to this legislation, Addabbo introduced a package of bills for the 2021 legislative session providing financial, emotional, and other supportive benefits specific to New York’s veterans.

“Providing military service members the opportunity to apply their training and experience towards a degree or program of study is common sense,” Addabbo said. “Granting credit hours for experience is not new, but this bill would define state law to ensure ACE certified credit-worthy courses are always accepted without having to go through an additional review or recommendation process. Enacting this legislation provides our military members with vital, well-deserved educational savings. As elected officials, I believe we can and must do more for our veterans.”

Other Addabbo bills under consideration in the Senate to assist veterans include:

·        S.351 - Requires a 120-day warning period for certain veteran’s organizations so they can rectify specific violations in lieu of the immediate imposition of a fine;

·        S.377 - Provides an exemption of sales tax on beer, wine, and soda for veterans service organizations such as American Legions and VFW posts;

·        S.1764 - Directs the Division of Veterans’ Services to route ”988” calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline;

·        S.2918 - Establishes a real property tax exemption for veterans who have a 100% service-connected disability;

·        S.2679 - Establishes a process for the alternative resolution of criminal proceedings involving service members and veterans who served in combat or experienced a traumatic event or were physically or mentally injured during military service where their resulting illness, injury, and/or other condition may have played a role in the commission of the criminal offense;

·        S.4069 - Creates a voluntary contribution on the state personal income tax return for congressional chartered veterans’ service organizations;

·        S.4202 - Requires the Empire State Development Corporation “Small Business Revolving Loan Fund” to target and market to veteran-owned enterprises and service-disabled veteran-owned enterprises;

 “Even before COVID-19, NYS veterans were at a higher risk of depression, but the pandemic has presented more significant challenges for veterans, including mental health issues,” Addabbo added. “Every one of our veterans, including the organizations that serve them, is deserving of exclusive privileges and supportive services, which is why I am honored to introduce legislation specific to our military personnel. I am hopeful the Senate will vote to pass all of these important initiatives,” said Addabbo, a long-standing member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.