Governor Hochul signs legislation that qualifies National Guard as veterans

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on Main Street, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (Robert Kirkham/The Buffalo News via AP)

NEW YORK (WWTI)  — Governor Kathy Hochul proposed legislation that would allow National Guard members to qualify as veterans under New York state law.

The legislation was proposed on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. In a press release from the Governor’s Office Hochul recognized the National Guard’s presence in the skies on the day the Twin Towers were attacked.

“In my opinion, they never got the recognition they deserved. It’s twenty years overdue, but I’m here to set that straight because I have seen what you’ve done. And I know what you continue to do,” Hochul said. “Some of you may have been there at the time, but those of you who also signed up after 9/11 I’ll always be in awe of that.”

In order to further show her appreciation, she announced that she had signed legislation that would expand the criteria that defines first responders who participated in the World Trade Center rescue. The second bill signed increased the accessibility in applying for World Trade Center benefits. The third bill Hochul signed expanded the definition of first responders to include communication workers.

The Governor said that the bills were signed as an effort to allow people to receive the benefits they deserve.

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