Senate Passes Legislation to Help Disabled Veterans

May 15, 2012

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.2423), sponsored by Senator Gregory R. Ball (R-C, Pawling), that would give greater access to state contracts to veterans who were disabled during their service.  

This bill would codify for New York an identical and highly successful program adopted for federal contracting.  Given the increase in the number of veterans and disabled veterans due to recent overseas conflicts, this bill would provide a small measure of recognition that this group of selfless men and women deserve.

“We must strengthen opportunities in state contracting for service-disabled veteran owned small businesses,” said Senator Greg Ball who currently Chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.“The extraordinary service rendered to our nation by veterans returning with injuries incurred or aggravated in the line of duty during active service with the armed services is worthy of providing a contract preference to all service-disabled veteran businesses. With the number of returning veterans suffering with ailments like traumatic brain injury, this bill would provide a small measure of recognition and support that these heroes so fully deserve.”

“Servicemen and women who are injured during their service deserve our full support once they return to our communities,” said Majority Leader Dean Skelos.  “Disabled veterans deserve an opportunity to participate in obtaining contracts with state agencies for their small businesses.  This legislation has been effective on the federal level and I am happy that we are making similar initiatives on behalf of disabled veterans in New York State.”

The legislation would require that state agencies provide the opportunity for service-disabled veterans’ businesses to obtain state contracts.  It would establish a goal of having small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans to comprise a minimum of 3 percent of the agency’s contracts.  The bill also details the implementation and reporting standards to help state agencies comply with the requirement, and task various commissioners, deputy commissioners, and the Attorney General with supporting the implementation of this preference.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.