Albany, N.Y. – 03/20/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) and Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced an agreement on legislation to facilitate the awarding of state contracts to disabled veterans. Governor Andrew Cuomo hosted a ceremonial bill signing for the legislation at today’s New York State Veterans and Military Families Summit in Albany, NY.
The program will create a 6% state contract set aside for service-connected disabled veteran owned small businesses. The set aside is very similar to the highly successful 3% preference that the federal government offers.
The “Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act” will ensure New York State’s service-connected disabled veterans are able to compete for upwards of $400 million in state contracts.
Senator Greg Ball, Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, has hosted a series of roundtables, hearings, press conference and events over the past three years to rally grassroots support for the set aside.
“New Yorkers can stand tall and proud today knowing that we have kept America’s promise to our veterans and service disabled heroes. This landmark legislation will create tens of thousands of jobs for veterans statewide and will allow service disabled veteran small business owners to tap into hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracting. This single act will do more to reverse the high veteran unemployment rate than anything else we have done, or will do. Yet beyond just creating jobs, this is about saving lives, and confronting the epidemic of veteran suicide through meaningful employment. We have been fighting to establish this set aside for years and I want to sincerely thank Governor Cuomo for giving us the backing we desperately needed at a critical time. Governor Cuomo is to be applauded for keeping his commitment to our heroes,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Let it be clear that this is not a handout, this is an opportunity for both employee and employer. These men and women have the exact skill sets we need in the workplace and the integrity we desperately need in the board room. The same attributes that make these people so vital to defending our freedoms are the same hard earned intangibles that make them exceptional at running their businesses and creating jobs. This is what good people can accomplish when they forget the politics and just focus on doing the right thing. Bravo to all involved, bravo!”
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, New York State is home to nearly 900,000 veterans, 600,000 of whom have served during periods of conflict. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, there are roughly 106,000 service-connected disabled veterans in New York State.
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