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IAVA Blasts Governor Cuomo’s Veto of Veteran Service Buyback Bill

V     ets urge legislature to override veto of sensible bill


NEW YORK (October 28, 2015)
— On Monday, a few weeks from Veterans Day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed State Senate Bill 5937, bipartisan legislation proposed to fix inequalities in the current state law that allows veterans to buy back credit in the pension system for their time in service. This marks the second year in a row the governor overrode the near unanimous decision by the state legislature by vetoing this bill.

“This veto by Governor Cuomo is a slap in the face to the nearly 900,000 veterans across New York State and their families,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA. “This decision is especially insulting as it occurs right before Veteran’s Day. In particular it is egregious to omit those who are serving right now in combat in Afghanistan. Cuomo is wrong and we urge all lawmakers to stand with veterans now and push for an override.”

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. The proposed law would allow any veteran to participate in the buyback program regardless of service dates or location. This bill would properly align New York State with standard federal practice.

Cuomo’s veto highlights the importance of ensuring that veterans voices are heard. 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. IAVA stands with all New York veterans to urge the legislature to override the governor’s veto of this common sense bill.

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or 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 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.