Legislators from Puerto Rico and New York to Meet and Discuss US Laws Adversely Impacting Puerto Rican Veterans on the Island

Ruben Diaz

June 10, 2009

On Friday, June 12 1009 from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM, the New York State Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade will be sponsoring their first Annual Legislative Forum in New York between Puerto Rican Legislators from the island of Puerto Rico and the New York State Senate.  The event will take place in the Auditorium of the Visitor Center, located at 227 West 46th Street in New York City.

The Members of  the New York State Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus are : Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz, Senator Hiram Monserrate, Senator Pedro Espada, and Senator Martin Malave-Dilan.  New York State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and elected legislators from Puerto Rico are also expected to attend this event.

The first Annual Forum will cover the disparate disbursement of medical benefits to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as current veterans in Puerto Rico to those returning to the mainland of the United States.  Veterans and soldiers returning to their families in Puerto Rico are receiving up to 40% less medical benefits than those returning state side.  The caps placed on Medicaid and Medicare to expenditures made on the island of Puerto Rico have also impacted the delivery of services to this group as well as the rest of the individuals eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.

“We became aware of this discriminatory practice when the New York State Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus recently traveled to the island of Puerto Rico to meet with the Governor as well as the heads of the legislature there,” declared Senator Ruben Diaz, President of the New York State Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus.  “This is in spite of the fact that veterans in Puerto Rico have served the same United States government, the same United States causes,  and are experiencing the same needs as soldiers who reside throughout other areas of the United States.”

For more information, please call Marlene Cintron, Executive Director of the NYS Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus at (646) 295-3775.