Albany , N.Y. – (5/22/2012) Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson), Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and other Senators and Assembly Members hosted a press conference for the need of Job Creation Opportunities for Veterans.
Senator Ball highlighted the following bills, which will provide veterans with quality employment opportunities:
1. S2423 – Provides a preference in state contracts for service-disabled veteran owned small businesses which has already passed the Senate;
2. S7439 - Establishes business franchise and personal income tax credits for employment of discharged combat veterans.
“We must strengthen employment opportunities for our veterans” said Senator Greg Ball who currently Chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “These bills will provide a small measure of recognition and support to the men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedom. New York State needs to do everything in its power to provide quality employment opportunities to these heroes returning to civilian lives.”
The US Department of Labor released a report in October of 2011, that stated the unemployment rate for veterans who served from 2001-present is around 12.1%, much higher than the nation’s unemployment rate. Senator Ball has been leading the effort on the state level to create quality jobs for returning veterans. Senator Ball’s legislation, S2423 will add service-disabled veterans to the list of groups receiving the state preference in contracting, which includes women and minorities.
“When New York’s service men and women return home from duty, we want them
to stay here and find quality jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “Providing incentives to hire veterans and support them in the marketplace would help those who have already given so much for the benefit of our state and nation. I thank Senator Ball for his leadership on this issue and his ongoing work to increase employment opportunities for New York’s veterans.”
Assemblyman Felix Ortiz who is the sponsor of the legislation that would provide service-disabled veterans state contract preference (S2423) showed his support for veterans, statewide.
“When you talk about veterans, there is no question in my mind that we all want to march in a wonderful parade, but the best parade we can march in is when we pass legislation like this at the state level to give our veterans the opportunities they deserve,” said Assemblyman Ortiz. “We will continue to work together to ensure we continue to not only be proud but that we continue to serve our Veterans.”
Jerald Majetich, a Retired Staff Sergeant from the US Army gave testimony on his horrific experience overseas in October of 2005. An explosive device struck Majetich’s vehicle, he managed to escape the vehicle but was then shot three times in a firefight. He spent the next twenty-two months in the hospital and to date has undergone 62 surgeries.
“Veterans as a whole do not want to sit at home. I am 42 years old, I am entirely too young to retire and sit on the couch for the rest of my life and receive a paycheck from the government,” said Majetich. “I wanted to prove to my children that it doesn’t matter what happens in your life, you can get back up and make a meaningful difference to not only your family but to your community”
“I am very happy to be here with Majority Leader Skelos, Senator Ball and my colleagues from the Independent Democratic Conference,” said Senator Diane Savino. “As you can see, this particular piece has not just bipartisan support, it has bi-cameral support. In state houses across the country, law-makers are trying to find ways to deal with the unemployment crisis. For the general public, unemployment is hovering at around nine percent, for non-disabled veterans it’s somewhere between twelve and fourteen percent, but for service disabled veterans, it’s almost twenty-five percent. That is unacceptable, we have to do more, and we can do more.”
“Disabled Veterans do not want to be anyone’s charity. That is something that is engrained in them by their service. After they have served their county and when they hit the civilian market, that doesn’t change,” said Cauldon Quinn, a retired Lieutenant from the US Navy and Service Disabled Veteran. “This bill is so important because it provides opportunity for Veterans to demonstrate that they are capable of not just competence but excellence”
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Krista Gobins: (845) 200-9716.