BILLS TO EMPOWER VETERANS CO-SPONSORED BY SERINO PASS SENATE; URGES CONSIDERATION OF BILL TO PROVIDE FUNDS TO HELP VFWs, AMERICAN LEGIONS, AND OTHER VSOs

Sue Serino

May 27, 2022

ALBANY, NY—Senator Sue Serino today announced that a number of bills she co-sponsors aimed at empowering New York’s veterans have passed in the Senate this week.  The Senator is also urging the state to take action on a measure that would provide grants to VFWs, American Legions and other VSOs that were hit hard by the pandemic to help them cover costs and keep their doors open.

“Memorial Day is a powerful reminder of the tremendous sacrifices our veterans—and their families—make for our country and our community each and every day,” said Senator Serino. “We have a fundamental duty to honor our veterans by ensuring that they have access to the resources they need to thrive here in New York. I am proud to support this package of bills to ensure that our veterans know that our gratitude goes far deeper than words, and that our state is place where we are truly committed to ensuring their success.”

The package that that passed in the Senate this week include bills that would:

-       Help veterans start their own small business by waiving business incorporation fees for veterans (S1504);

-       Allow the granting of academic credit at city or state operated institutions to veterans (S2680A);

-       Expand eligibility for public housing to veterans who served between September 14, 2001 through December 31, 2020 (S3945);

-       Creates a tax check off to support a veterans service organizations fund (S4069A);

-       Adds Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business Enterprises to the list of businesses eligible for the reduced interest rates through the Excelsior Linked Deposit program, which helps reduce costs for these businesses to expand and grow (S7068, passed both houses);

-       Create a searchable registry of the military memorials located in the State of New York (S8729 passed both houses); and

-       Allow veterans who have purchased military service credit in the New York State and Local Retirement System to attribute this credit to the New York State Health Insurance Plan service credit (S9037).

Senator Serino continued saying, “While this package is a step in the right direction, there is more work to be done to ensure that our veterans have access to key networks and resources, which is why it is so important that we take steps to preserve the VFWs, American Legions, and other VSOs that so many have come to rely on. Because many of these organizations were not eligible for funds during the pandemic, now is the time to ensure that they have the resources they need to rebuild.”

Specifically, the bill would establish a $10 million fund to provide grants of up to $50,000 to veterans services organizations throughout the state that could be used to assist with expenses like rent or mortgage payments, maintenance and administrative costs, state and local taxes and fees and more. The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Senator Daphne Jordan, and co-sponsored by Senator Serino.

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