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Passage of Veterans Equality Act is Win for Veterans, New Yorkers

Advocacy of IAVA veteran members key in historic win for vets

NEW YORK, NY (June 2, 2016) — Today Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) applauded the passage of the Veterans Equality Act, which will provide equitable treatment to veterans in pursuing public service after serving in uniform. The passage of the new law, signed by Governor Cuomo Tuesday, was led by a coalition of veterans and ally organizations, including the leadership of IAVA fellow Tireak Tulloch, Assembly member Amy Paulin and Senator Bill Larkin.

“Passage of the Veterans Equality Act is not only a win for veterans, but for every citizen of New York,” said IAVA Chief of Staff Allison Jaslow.” The Veterans Equality Act is a prime example of equitable empowerment and distinguishes New York for prioritizing veteran employment. IAVA continues to be a strong advocate for federal, state and local policy that empowers veterans to continue their public service and we celebrate this achievement led by our New York member-leaders and our friends in Albany.”

The Veterans Equality Act, previously vetoed twice by the Governor, allows veterans of all eras who work in New York State government the ability to use three years of their military service towards the amount of time needed to qualify for New York State retirement benefits. The tireless advocacy of IAVA’s New York members in conjunction with coalition partners pushed the new Act into law.

Under previous law, New York State only allows veterans who served during specific areas and regions to utilize this benefit. For example, Iraq War veterans and Vietnam War veterans previously could use the benefit, but Afghanistan War veterans could not. This situation is unfair and dysfunctional, and discourages veterans from pursuing public service within New York State government.

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