In-Depth: Hochul signs package of bills aimed at helping veterans and active military

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — For Veterans Day, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a series of bills aimed at helping veterans, active military, and their families.

One of the bills changes New York State’s law so that the beginning of the Vietnam War is Nov. 1, 1955, instead of Feb. 28, 1961, to match the federal government’s dates and ensure New York’s Vietnam veterans get the credit they earned for their service.

Another ensures that those who voluntarily leave their jobs to accompany spouses who are subjects of military transfers are eligible for unemployment benefits.

Another creates the 12-member women veterans advisory committee, which will help the Division of Veterans’ Services find, educate and advocate for female veterans in New York.

Another creates a task force on veteran employment opportunities.

Another requires any nursing home, assisted living facility or homeless shelter to ask people if they or their spouses ever served in the military while filling out intake forms.

Another bill lets veterans and reservists get information about benefits when they apply for or renew a driver’s license.

Another provides in-state tuition continuity at SUNY and CUNY colleges for spouses and children of active duty service members following their stationing in New York.

Another allows children of military families who are relocating under military orders to preliminarily enroll in the school at which they will be a student.

Another expands the State’s Military Enhanced Recognition, Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship so that all families of fallen and disabled service members are able to receive it.

Another removes the restriction that only combat veterans can receive credits for civil service appointments and promotions.

Another authorizes a county board of supervisors to require ferries to provide free transportation to any member of the United States armed forces in uniform during their enlistment.

One waives certain fees in Westchester County.