Senate approves Queens lawmaker’s legislation granting college credit to veterans

State Senator Joseph Addabbo’s legislation granting college credit to military veterans passed in the upper chamber. (QNS file photo)

Veterans across New York will be provided academic credit at state-run colleges and universities based on their training and expertise under a bill sponsored by state Senator Joseph Addabbo.

The “common-sense” legislation giving service members the opportunity to apply their experience toward a degree or program passed the Senate.

“Granting credit hours for experience is not new, but this bill would define state law to ensure ACE-certified, credit-worthy courses are always accepted without having to go through an additional review or recommendation process,” Addabbo said. “Enacting this legislation provides our military members with vital, well-deserved educational savings. As elected officials, I believe we can and do more for our veterans.”

In addition to this legislation, Addabbo introduced a package of bills for the 2021 legislative session providing financial, emotional and other supportive benefits for New York’s veterans including the following:

  • S.351: Requires a 120-day warning period for certain veterans organizations so they can rectify specific violations in lieu of the immediate imposition of a fine;
  • S.377: Provides an exemption of sales tax on beer, wine and soda for veterans service organizations such as American Legions and VFW posts;
  • S.1764: Directs the Division of Veterans’ Services to route ”988” calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline;
  • S.2918: Establishes a real property tax exemption for veterans who have a 100 percent service-connected disability;
  • S.2679: Establishes a process for the alternative resolution of criminal proceedings involving service members and veterans who served in combat or experienced a traumatic event or were physically or mentally injured during military service where their resulting illness, injury and/or other condition may have played a role in the commission of the criminal offense;
  • S.4069: Creates a voluntary contribution on the state personal income tax return for congressional chartered veterans service organizations;
  • S.4202: Requires the Empire State Development Corporation “Small Business Revolving Loan Fund” to target and market to veteran-owned enterprises and service-disabled veteran-owned enterprises.

“Even before COVID-19, New York state veterans were at a higher risk of depression, but the pandemic has presented more significant risk for veterans, including mental health issues,” said Addabbo, a long-standing member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee. “Every one of our veterans, including the organizations that serve them, is deserving of exclusive privileges and support services, which is why I am honored to introduce legislation specific to our military personnel. I am hopeful the Senate will vote to pass all of these important initiatives.”

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