Assemblymembers look to pass two bills for veterans and their families

Local elected officials are joining forces across the aisle to pass two bills to give aid to veterans and their families.

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican, and Assemblymember Felix Ortiz, a Democrat, held a press conference on Friday, June 3 at the triangle at the intersection of Third Avenue and Senator Street in Bay Ridge to push legislation for the military spouse licensing bill and the peer support program bill.

“The stress borne by military veterans and their families is unimaginable. We have a duty to support these men and women who have given their all to protect our freedoms and keep our nation safe,” said Malliotakis.

The military spouse licensing bill would provide expedited licensing of military spouses with professional licenses in their occupations, while the peer support programs for veterans would reinforce help for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Ortiz, former chair of the Assembly Veterans Committee and an Army veteran, understands the challenges families and veterans face daily, and hopes that the governor will sign off on these bills to ensure they will get the help they deserve.

“Passage of these bills can help repay the debt of gratitude we owe those who serve their country in a selfless manner,” said Ortiz.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Veterans Equality Act on Tuesday, May 31. The new law will allow public employees who are veterans of the United States military to buy back up to three years of state service credit toward their pension.

Both Malliotakis and Ortiz supported the Veterans Equality Act, and hope that Cuomo will sign off on these bills as well. With only seven days left in the legislative session, they said they will continue to push for the passage of these bills.

“This legislative package will aid veterans, those on active duty, and their families. These are an exceptional class of people to whom New Yorkers and all Americans owe a debt of gratitude,” said Malliotakis.

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