By Bill Parry
Legislation that would create a grant program for municipalities that hire veterans has been approved by the state Senate.
The bill, S.3879, co-sponsored by state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), would encourage local governments to hire former military members by creating a state grant program to cover parts of their salaries.
“New York has made progress in encouraging private employers to hire former servicemen and women through its Hire-A-Vet program, which provides tax credits to businesses that provide jobs for veterans,” said Addabbo, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs. “This new legislation goes further: offering state grants to municipalities that hire vets for local government jobs.”
Under the proposal, local governments that hire veterans for at least one year and for up to 35 hours a week would be eligible for the funding. Grants would range from up to $5,000 for a qualified veteran and up to $15,000 for a disabled veteran. Qualified veterans are those defined as those who served on active duty in any branch of the armed forces or state militia and who were honorably or generally discharged any time after Sept. 11, 2001. Eligible veterans must also begin working for the municipality between Jan. 1, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2021.
“While the employment picture has improved for many of our veterans, there are still many former servicemen and women seeking employment,” Addabbo said. “We already offer incentives to private businesses to hire veterans, and it makes good sense to provide grants to local governments that would benefit from the many talents and skills these military men and women bring to the table.”
Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it is under review by the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr