Veterans Legislative Package

Shirley L. Huntley

March 25, 2011

News From New York State
Senator Shirley L. Huntley
For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2011
Contact:  Antonio Rodriguez | | (518) 455-3531

Senator Shirley L. Huntley Announces Legislative Package for
NYS Veterans Passes Senate

Protection of privacy for families from funeral protests among measures

Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica) is pleased to announce that the State Senate passed several measures this week supporting members of the Armed Forces and their families, including bills which will prevent protests at military funeral services, create a 500 foot military funeral buffer zone to prevent inappropriate protests, and offer additional recreational events at no cost to veterans and active duty service members.

Southeast Queens has one of the largest veteran populations in New York City. There are many who will benefit from the outcome of these bills. Our veterans and service men and women deserve the utmost respect and the passage of these bills ensures that. I hope to provide our veterans with any resource that are readily available because they should go towards helping them in any manner possible.

Throughout Queens and New York State, family members and guests who have come to pay their respects at funerals have seen disrespectful behavior and disturbance caused by protestors. The following legislation hopes to curb this conduct and provide the veterans and their families with the respect and reverence that they deserve.

“The members of our Armed Forces risk their lives to protect our nation and as elected officials we have a duty to ensure veterans and their families receive the support and protections they deserve,” Senator Huntley said.  “Proper rehabilitation – particularly mental rehab – is vital to veterans successfully re-entering civilian life, and our society has the obligation of ensuring the privacy of service members and their families during their most difficult hour.”

The Senate’s legislative package includes:
• S. 3900/S. 3901: This prevents interference with funeral services, and regulates protests at military funerals, respectively.
• S. 2424A: which establishes a mechanism to start the New York State Veterans Cemetery Program.
• S. 656: which provide veterans and active duty service members’ additional physical and emotional rehabilitation by allowing the DEC to designate additional free fishing events for veterans and active duty personnel.

“Government has much more to do when it comes to protecting our veterans and their families, but I am very pleased we’ve taken this step forward and passed these common-sense bills. I look forward to continuing my work with our veterans to make New York a great state for our heroes to call home,” said Senator Huntley.