The New York State Senate today passed new legislation (S5937) dealing with service credit for our veterans. This bill is different from the previously passed legislation (S4124) which passed the Senate unanimously earlier this session.
The previous bill had an appropriation of $31.5 million and this bill has an appropriation of $24.8 million. According to the Assembly sponsor of this bill, the $24.8 million estimate was provided by the division of the budget.
“I will continue to do all that is asked of me in support of this legislation,” said Senator Bill Larkin (R,C – Cornwall-On-Hudson). “Regardless of where and when our veterans have served they are owed this debt of gratitude.”
This legislation would allow all honorably discharged veterans who are members of a New York State retirement system to purchase service credit for up to three years of military service performed. Under current law, only veterans who served during certain specified periods of war are eligible for this benefit. The current law excludes many of our veterans.
“Allowing veterans to improve their retirement to assure a greater financial security is a small price to pay for all they have done,” said Larkin. “I believe it is an absolute shame that our Afghanistan veterans and those who have fought in other recent conflicts are not eligible for this military service credit in New York State due to the current law.”
This new legislation is a companion bill to Assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s bill (A8174-A). It has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.