New York State is putting money where its mouth is when it comes to looking out for our veterans and gold star families.

This week, Governor Hochul signed seven pieces of legislation that will provide resources, support and a pretty cool perk to all of our local veterans.

While some of the new legislation fixes loopholes and fixes frustrating issues veterans have been faced with, others introduce entirely new benefits. Bills that were passed with the most immediate impact on veterans and their families include changes to legal definitions and procedures to help keep important tax benefits.

The definition of a veteran has been clarified to help career armed force members keep tax exemption status, incentivizing them to stay in New York State. Another change to New York’s Empire State Development Corporation will market funds towards veteran-owned businesses. A "wartime service” requirement that has prohibited veterans from applying for certain civil service jobs has also been changed.

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Cool New Perk for New York Veterans

One of the biggest surprises in the package of legislation is a new perk for veterans and members of Gold Star families. Beginning April 1, 2024, they will receive free admission to all New York State parks, historic sites and recreational facilities.

 

This is a huge benefit that's being applauded by politicians across the state. Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre is a chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee and a sponsor of the legislation. She applauded Hochul's signing of the new benefit.

Allowing veterans and Gold Star families free access to our New York State Parks will provide them with outdoor spaces to spend time with loved ones and take in the natural beauty of New York State.

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Veterans can find support and more information about the new legislative changes through the New York State Department of Veterans' Services.

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