NEW YORK (November 11, 2015) — New York State veterans received welcome news this Veterans Day as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo committed to addressing inequalities in the current state law that allows veterans to buy back credit in the pension system for their time in service. During a call with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s (IAVA) Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff, the governor committed to finding a solution to this long-standing issue impacting many of the state’s 900,000 veterans.
“IAVA is thrilled that Governor Cuomo has today led our veterans to a solution on this critical issue. I spoke to the governor myself this morning, and we’re extremely thankful that he reached out to IAVA for our counsel. IAVA is headquartered in New York and we’re proud to work with the governor to make New York State the best state in the nation for veterans. This is an excellent step forward. And a tremendous Veterans Day present, especially after our historic triumph yesterday in New York City with the unanimous passage of legislation to establish a permanent Department of Veterans’ Services to support the city’s 230,000 veterans.”
The current state buyback program is limited to veterans who served in specific conflicts and time ranges that were determined in the Military Service Credit Law of 2000. During the past two legislative sessions, state bills have passed, but were vetoed by the governor, to allow any veteran to participate in the buyback program regardless of service dates or location, properly aligning New York State with standard federal practice.
IAVA calls on policymakers to review IAVA’s recently released policy agenda to create an appropriate support systems for our nation’s veterans and their families.
Note to media: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.