Senator Ball’s 20 latest videos are below. You can see more videos on his youtube channel.
OSSINING - State leaders were in Ossining today to announce a veterans counseling program in the Hudson Valley. The innovative peer-to-peer program allows for veterans who personally understand the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries to work with returning vets in a safe and supportive atmosphere. The program will be administered by county governments and could be available as soon as late fall.
Fox and Friends
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is getting a lot of heat for falling behind on hundreds of thousands of disability claims. Pictures showing piles of claims filling entire rooms went public this week. To date, the wait for a veteran's disability claim to be resolved is two years. John Wypyszinski, who after 16 years in the military and two tours in Iraq had to fight for two and a half years to get his benefits said Sunday that, at one point, he thought he would have been better off having died in the war. MSNBC's Richard Lui sat down with retired Colonel Jack Jacobs and New York State Senator Greg Ball , chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee to get their take on why the problem exists and what can be done to repair it. Jacobs attributes the break down in administering care to veterans to flaws in how the claims are processed. The VA, he says, is unequipped to handle the number of claims that are filed because it's on a paper system rather than a digitized one. "We do a very good job at getting young men and women to raise their right hand and are willing to fight and die for their country; we do not do a very good job of transitioning them back into the civilian sector," said Jacobs. Fortunately, while other departments are facing budget cuts, Jacobs says, the VA is getting an increase and plans to digitize, hopefully remedying the situation for our vets.
New York State Senate Chamber
YONKERS - A local senator introduced a plan today to compensate for the state's $500 million budget shortfall in building the new Tappan Zee Bridge. State Sen. Greg Ball (R,C - 40th District) is mulling the idea of a public-private partnership to help pay for the project. It would apparently allow firms or union pension funds to invest in the construction, which could be repaid through a share of toll revenue. Ball insists it is the only way to ensure the financial burden will not fall on taxpayers. He also says he hopes to pass the initiative during the current legislative session.
WHITE PLAINS - A White Plains home that is listed on a publicized handgun permit database was burglarized last night. Officials say the target of the burglary was the homeowner's gun case. Police are trying to determine if the break-in was a result of the homeowner's name and address being published by the Journal News last month, along with thousands of other registered gun owners. Officials say two burglars used a ladder to break into the home to try and steal legally-owned guns out of the homeowner's safe.
YONKERS - Lawmakers in New York are forging ahead to make gun laws even tougher in the wake of the Newtown massacre. State Democrats and Republicans have long been at odds about how far-reaching gun control should be in New York, but officials say that leaders are close to striking a deal. State Assemblywoman Shelly Mayer says she is optimistic that lawmakers in Albany will strike a deal, and members could vote on a new state gun control bill as early as this week. Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his plans for sweeping legislation in response to the recent rash of mass shootings. The governor called for a ban on military-style assault rifles, a limit on high-capacity magazines, and a measure that would allow police to confiscate guns from the mentally ill. According to reports, state Republicans are about 95 percent in agreement on a deal. The details of the deal have not yet been released.