Gov. Kathy Hochul signed several bills into law that aim to help veterans and their families ahead of Veterans Day, her office said Friday.

The legislation:

  • clarifies the definition of veteran to include career members of the armed forces for tax exemption purposes
  • gives free access for veterans and members of a Gold Star family tree to state parks, historic sites and recreational facilities in New York
  • requires the small business revolving loan fund within New York’s Empire State Development Corporation to market to veteran-owned enterprises and service-disabled veteran-owned enterprises
  • requires the number of applicants applying as veterans or a surviving spouse of a veteran be made available on the Mitchell-Lama application waitlist so that those applying have a clear indication of whether there are other veterans applying for the same housing
  • directs certain municipalities to contact a veterans’ organization to provide for the disposition of the unclaimed remains of a deceased veteran
  • eliminates the “wartime service” requirement that prohibits a large number of interested veterans from seeking employment in certain civil service roles, expanding the application pool
  • establishes VIP NY, a veteran internship program that will award 10% of available internships in the Assembly Youth Participation program and the Senate Student Program to eligible honorably discharged veterans

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

Veterans may find more support through the state Department of Veterans’ Services, which has served as the state’s advocacy agency for veterans, service members and military families since 1945.


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