Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Queens Borough President
“All of these efforts on behalf of veterans are vital to ensuring that our servicemen and servicewomen have straightforward access to employment, affordable housing, counseling, education and other necessary services,” Sen. Addabbo said.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The State Senate recently passed a package of bills to expand benefits for veterans, Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) announced on Monday.
Three of the seven measures approved by the Upper Chamber were sponsored by borough representatives, including legislation introduced by Addabbo that will allow full-time undergraduate students enrolled at State-operated institutions to receive academic credit for their military service or training.
“I am proud of the legislation we have put forth to provide essential programs for those who have selflessly served our country,” said Addabbo, a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “Veterans often need a variety of services when they return to civilian life, but do not always know where to turn to find the programs that exist to help them. This package of legislation demonstrates our continuing efforts to expand veteran benefits and ease the transition back to working and living in their communities.”
Additionally, Sen. James Sanders, Jr. (D-South Ozone Park), a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, sponsored bills that will provide a toll-free telephone number for use as a help and crisis line to assist veterans; and permit veterans who are licensed to practice a profession in another jurisdiction to practice their profession in New York while their application to practice their profession in the Empire State is being processed.
The rest of the measures recently passed by the State Senate:
• S.2930A Active Duty Property Tax Exemptions: will provide qualified active duty personnel a property tax exemption;
• S.2570 Increase of Real Property Tax Exemption for Dual Veteran Households: will increase the Alternative Veterans Real Property tax exemption when two qualifying veterans reside in the same household;
• S.3647 Expanding Veterans Credits on Civil Service Appointments: will eliminate the requirement that a veteran must have served in time of war, and allow for all individuals who have served in the armed forces to receive credits for civil service appointments and promotions;
• S. 5184 Military Voters in School District Elections: will provide military voters the opportunity to vote in school district elections by allowing them to return their absentee ballots by postal mail.
“All of these efforts on behalf of veterans are vital to ensuring that our servicemen and servicewomen have straightforward access to employment, affordable housing, counseling, education and other necessary services,” Addabbo added. “By helping veterans and the organizations that serve them, we are able to thank our former and current servicemen and servicewomen in concrete and meaningful ways.”
The series of seven proposed pieces of legislation were delivered to the Assembly and have been referred to the appropriate committees.
Additionally this week, Addabbo reported that another measure he sponsored—to create an annual Sept. 11, 2001 day of remembrance and brief moment of silence in New York’s public schools—took a positive step forward after being approved by the Senate Education Committee.
“This is just one more way to make sure that we never forget 9-11, and that we continue to work together – in our neighborhoods, in our state, and across our country – to build a safer and more peaceful future for all of us,” the senator said on Tuesday.