New York City Council Members Urge State Lawmakers to Overturn Governor’s Veto of Veteran Pension Bill

New York City

Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have granted certain war veterans a “jump-start” toward drawing a state pension.

Some members of New York’s City Council are calling on state lawmakers to overturn that veto.

From the Queens Chronicle:

Members of the City Council’s Veterans Committee are urging state lawmakers to overturn Gov. Cuomo’s veto of a bill that would allow veterans who served during peacetime or undesignated conflicts to purchase up to three years of credit toward a state pension plan.

“We firmly believe that all military service is public service and therefore all honorably discharged veterans deserve access to the additional retirement credits this bill would afford,” a written statement by the members of the committee states.

The committee on Nov. 20 wrote to both Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), urging the two to direct their respective houses to vote in a special session of the state Legislature to override the veto of the governor.

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), chairman of the Veterans Committee, said the two leaders should “not allow Gov. Cuomo’s veto to essentially close the door on helping thousands of veterans who deserve the help the most.”

Cuomo’s thoughts on the bill:

Cuomo on Nov. 7 vetoed the bill, stating that it would “run rough-shod over systemic reforms carefully negotiated with the Legislature to avoid saddling local property taxpayers with additional, unmanageable burdens.”

“It is disheartening to see the Legislature reverse course only two years after it overwhelmingly agreed to avoid tossing these burdens onto local taxpayers in cities, towns, counties and school districts,” Cuomo added.

“But the Legislature has chosen to ignore its commitment to shield property taxpayers from the costs of the new statewide pension enhancements.”

The estimated first-year cost to city employers would be about $18 million, according to the bill.

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3 Responses to “New York City Council Members Urge State Lawmakers to Overturn Governor’s Veto of Veteran Pension Bill”

  1. mike says:

    Talk about funding please! Do we need to start the draft. Because we allready have are guard and reserve fighting alot of our wars. That’s why their numbers are going down. That’s why we have a GI bill etc. Thank god they voted yes for things like that.Their were the same groups who said there’s no money. But that generation said THEN YOU SERVE DAM IT! Never say never people only thing is the big shots kids will never have to go. If your old enough to remember the way it was. And if your hurt you can have alot of fun at the VA, same people say they support the vets well you seen the news.They want to spend the money on other programs. Thanks to the private groups are vets are not alone! Are disabled Vets. should be treated better then this no matter when they served. Their just a number now treated alot different then the private world helps people who have been hurt. Try going after uncle sam.I will tell all you young men and women well women talk about war on women you will never be able to buy your time. it’s the way it’s set up. Any way it’s a noble cause but look what they say about money and funding and then look at the way they spend not on vets. the great generation is gone. To them ny state law would have been fix years ago!

  2. Please see, sign and support my petition demanding an override of Governor Cuomo’s veto of the Veterans Equality Act bill. There are currently over 4,400 signatures along with heartfelt messages from constituents and Veterans alike. Let’s show them their (our) voices matter. Thank you.

    The petition can be found at: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/override-gov-cuomos-veto

    More information on the bill can be found at: http://nyvetsforservicecredit.blogspot.com/?m=1

  3. Robert says:

    Just to clarify one sentence in the article: Members of the City Council’s Veterans Committee are urging state lawmakers to overturn Gov. Cuomo’s veto of a bill that would allow veterans who served during peacetime or undesignated conflicts to purchase up to three years of credit toward a state pension plan.

    The bill will not primarily impact ‘peacetime” veterans it will primarily impact wartime veterans. Excluded US veterans, who served in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Guantanamo Bay, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Okinawa, Somalia, South Korea, United States and in all but a handful of nations during the current wartime (Gulf War Era, 1990-Present) era are working to purchase military service credit.

    It is true that some soldiers from the much shorter peacetime (AKA Cold War) period (1976-1989) may also qualify. Women from this same ‘peacetime’ (AKA Cold War) period are particularly concerned because they were all but banned from the three short conflicts (Panama, Grenada, Lebanon) within this peacetime (AKA Cold War) period that actually qualify to purchase military service credit.

    You may or may not be aware that under current law all veterans who served anywhere during the wartime Vietnam Era (1961-1975) already qualify to purchase military service credit.

    – An Excluded Afghanistan Veteran

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