Senate Passes Legislation to Expand Veteran Benefits on ‘Fort Drum Day’ with Addabbo’s Support

The New York State Senate passed a bill (S.2741A), sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr, that allows veterans to receive academic credit for their military service or training. This legislation is part of a package of bills passed by the Senate to expand benefits for veterans while also celebrating ‘Fort Drum Day’ in Albany.

“Each year I look forward to Fort Drum Day when we recognize and celebrate our military personnel. I am proud of the legislation we have put forth to provide essential programs for those who have selflessly served our country,” said Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “Veterans often need a variety of services when they return to civilian life, but do not always know where to turn to find the programs that exist to help them. This package of legislation demonstrates our continuing efforts to expand veteran benefits and ease the transition back to working and living in their communities,” Addabbo added.

The package of bills passed by the Senate include:

·         S.2741A (Addabbo) Veteran Academic Credit: will allow full-time undergraduate students enrolled at state-operated institutions will be able to receive academic credit for their military service or training;

·         S.2283A (Sanders) Veterans Help and Crisis Line: will provide a toll-free telephone number for use as a help and crisis line to assist veterans;

·         S.2930A (Brooks) Active Duty Property Tax Exemptions: will provide qualified active duty personnel a property tax exemption;

·         S. 2113 (Sanders) Expanding Licensed Veterans Employment: will permit veterans who are licensed to practice a profession in another jurisdiction to practice their profession in NYS while their application to practice their profession in NYS is being processed;

·         S.2570 (Bailey) Increase of Real Property Tax Exemption for Dual Veteran Households: will increase the Alternative Veterans Real Property tax exemption when two qualifying veterans reside in the same household;

·         S.3647 (Gounardes) Expanding Veterans Credits on Civil Service Appointments: will eliminate the requirement that a veteran must have served in time of war, and allow for all individuals who have served in the armed forces to receive credits for civil service appointments and promotions;

·         S. 5184 (Mayer) Military Voters in School District Elections: will provide military voters the opportunity to vote in school district elections by allowing them to return their absentee ballots by postal mail.

“All of these efforts on behalf of veterans are vital to ensuring that our servicemen and servicewomen have straightforward access to employment, affordable housing, counseling, education and other necessary services,” Addabbo added. “By helping veterans and the organizations that serve them, we are able to thank our former and current servicemen and servicewomen in concrete and meaningful ways.”

The package of bills were delivered to the Assembly and have been referred to the appropriate Committee.