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Hochul signs several bills for veterans into law

Watertown Daily Times - 11/10/2023

Nov. 10—ALBANY — New York officials observed Veteran's Day on Friday by signing a package of new legislation into law aimed at improving resources for those who have served in the military.

On Friday, Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul signed seven bills into law, each addressing a specific benefit or resource for veterans. Most notably, the governor signed a change to the state's tax law allowing for military service members who reenlist after their first contract ends to access the same tax exemptions as those who left the military after their term of service.

"An active duty sailor who lives in my district made me aware of a change in the military's tour discharge paperwork that effected their eligibility for the Veteran's Property Tax exemption," said Assemblymember Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, an author of the bill. "I am grateful to the governor for signing my bill which now includes career military service members in our state's veteran's tax exemption law."

Another bill eliminates the requirement that a veteran have done "wartime service" to apply for a program that helps connect service-disabled veterans with state employment.

Other laws signed by the governor on Friday allow for New York state residents who are veterans or members of a Gold Star family free access to all state historic sites, parks and recreational facilities, require the state economic development corporation to establish small business loan programs for veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

One bill signed Friday requires that the counties and city of New York contact a veterans' organization to collect unclaimed remains of dead veterans if the next of kin or formal designee cannot be located.

Another bill signed Friday addresses a form error for veterans and their families who apply to Mitchell-Lama middle-income affordable housing units.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to the veterans who risked their lives to serve our country," Hochul said. "This legislation will provide resources and support to New York's veterans, honoring their service and recognizing their heroism."

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