Senator Greg Ball (R, C, 40th District –Westchester/Putnam/Dutchess) has secured a staggering $11.5 Million for New York State Veterans during a tough budget battle in the Senate chamber, where all operating budgets were cut by 10% across the board. In the budget, Ball successfully restored $10.9 Million to Veterans’ Homes located in Montrose, New York City, Oxford, Stony Brook and Batavia, all of which had been previously cut.
Senator Ball stated, “This was a budget of unmet needs, not wants. Yet the cuts to our veterans, if enacted, would have been debilitating. Being fiscally prudent doesn’t necessitate being heartless. As Chairman of Homeland Security, Veterans and Military Affairs, I am proud to have fought in a pretty tough financial arena, and come out with solid gains and restorations for our veterans.”
Senator Ball also secured $500,000 for the establishment of a State Veterans’ Cemetery pursuant to a project approved by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“This program has been kicked around and languishing for years. Actually having New York’s commitment in the state budget is a giant leap forward and the first time this has ever been done. This money will allow New York State to take part in a very generous federal program allowing states to build State Veterans Cemeteries. While I am going to fight to bring a cemetery to the Hudson Valley, this allows all counties the chance to now apply to build a State Veteran’s Cemetery and properly honor their under served veteran population.” said Senator Ball.
“People from Putnam have served in every American War from the Colonial Indian Wars of the 17th Century until the present Middle East terror wars and deserve a sacred place of their own to be buried. Senator Ball has secured the funding to make sure New York State’s veterans will be honored as they should be,” said veteran and Putnam County Legislator, Richard Othmer (R-Kent).
$125,000 was also secured to help the New York Veterans of Foreign Wars eliminate the backlog of claims inhibiting disabled Veterans from getting their benefits in a timely manner, an issue brought up as a top priority at Senator Ball’s Veteran’s hearing held earlier this month.
“For far too long, veterans in New York have been mistreated with an avalanche of administrative backlog! Because of Senator Ball’s efforts and fighting on behalf of veterans, he has freed up the backlog of claims and has allowed veterans across our state to receive the immediate support we need,” said Willy Nazzario, Chief of Staff, Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Additionally, Senator Ball secured $25,000 for the Vietnam Veterans of America New York State council to assist with their growing population and concerns.
“Today the Vietnam Veterans of America New York State Council learned that, through the extraordinary efforts of Senator Greg Ball funds to help our Veterans’ Service Officer program have been secured,” said Ned D. Foote, President, Vietnam Veterans of America New York State Council. “We hail Senator Ball for recognizing the importance of funding for veterans programs.”
“Senator Ball is a fighter, a comrade and a fellow veteran. As our new Chairman of Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, Senator Ball has been a strong veterans advocate seeking to find out what issues are facing our veterans community, working with the community to find solutions, and then fighting for those solutions in Albany. It’s a new day in New York for veterans because of Senator Ball’s commitment,” said Daniel Morea, Deputy Director Department of Veterans Services, City of Yonkers.