ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Veterans Day, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a legislative package to protect and support veterans and their families. The package includes 12 pieces of legislation that were signed into law by the governor on November 11.

“Our active service members and veterans have served a high calling to protect our democracy and freedoms, and now it is our turn to support them and their families,” said Hochul. “By signing these bills into law today, we are taking steps to ensure veterans and active duty military members have the benefits and resources they need, and the flexibility their circumstances require, to best take care of themselves and their families. New York’s veterans stood up for us, and we will continue to stand by them.” 

New laws:

Legislation S.7124A/A.7388B changes the beginning of the Vietnam War from February 28, 1961 to November 1, 1955. With this legislation, New York’s law conforms to federal government and will ensure New York’s Vietnam veterans will receive credit for serving in a time of war.

Legislation S.3623/A.7514 ensures that people who voluntarily leave their jobs to accompany spouses due to military transfers are eligible for unemployment benefits. 

Legislation S.701A/A.1140 creates the women veterans advisory committee. The purpose of the committee will be to support and assist in locating, educating, and advocating for women veterans in the New York.

Legislation S.3638/A.7472 establishes a task force on veteran employment opportunities. This group will hold annual public hearings and make recommendations to the legislature on ways that the state can assist veterans in finding and maintaining employment opportunities.

Legislation S.2977A/A.6100A requires that all intake forms for admission or residency to any nursing home, assisted living facility or homeless shelter ask individuals whether they or their spouses ever served in the military. This enables the state to help these individuals receive the benefits that they have earned and are entitled to.

Legislation S.7125/A.2658 authorizes Westchester County to waive certain fees for veterans’ organizations. The waiver facilitates the construction and improvement of veterans’ posts in the area.

Legislation S.6452/A.3920 allows veterans and reservists to receive benefit information upon applying for or renewing a driver’s license.

Legislation S.5245A/A.6249 provides in-state tuition continuity at SUNY and CUNY colleges for spouses and children of active duty service members following their stationing in New York.

Legislation S.5743A/A.6528 allows for children of military families who are relocating under military orders to preliminarily enroll in the school at which they will be a student.

Legislation S.5543A/A.7685 expands the state’s Military Enhanced Recognition, Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship by making it available to all families of fallen and disabled service members by removing the current requirement of military service occurring and after August 2, 1990.

Legislation S.763/A.5447 provides all those who have served with the ability to receive credits for civil service appointments and promotions by removing the restriction that only combat veterans can receive credits. 

Legislation S.6535/A.4089 authorizes a county board of supervisors to require ferries operating within said county to provide free transportation to any member of the United States armed forces in uniform during their enlistment.