The Constitution of New York State requires the Governor to deliver an annual message to the Legislature, regarding the state of the state. The proposals in this message help define the Governor’s agenda for the coming year.
The 2022 State of the State, delivered by Governor Kathy Hochul, contained many proposals that benefit Veterans and Military Families. This positive proposals are summarized below:
- County/City Veterans Service Agencies will have their annual funding increased from a minimum of $10K for each entity to a minimum $25K — a 150% in their annual allocation!
- The Joseph P. Dwyer Program will be funded to expand statewide, providing any interested county with the ability to establish a chapter of this successful program focusing on the reintegration of Veterans to their new communities in their post-military lives.
- $225K new, additional funds will be added to the Fresh Connect Checks for Veterans program – bringing the total amount to over $800K in fresh food vouchers for New York’s Veteran families. Plus, for the first time ever, Fresh Connect Checks will be distributed from County Veterans Service Agency and City Veterans Service Agency offices in addition to New York State Division of Veterans’ Services offices!
- Eligibility will be expanded for the Hire-A-Vet Tax Credit, making it available for Veterans of any era of service rather than just post-9/11 service, allowing the credit for part-time work, and removing the current distinction between disabled and non-disabled veterans — thereby opening the door for a larger number of private sector employers than ever before to utilize this tax credit.
- Digital Veterans Welcome Centers — the first of which was established at the Capital Region Welcome Center on Veterans Day 2021 — will be implemented throughout New York State at New York State Thruway Welcome Centers, airports, train stations, and other locations where they can provide easily accessible information and key points of contact for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families
- New York State will commit resources and partnerships to provide mentors in every county for the Expiration of Term of Service (ETS) sponsorship program which helps transitioning Service Members in their return home. This still-new federal program offers a game-changing solution to ensure that Service Members are linked with a trained mentor in the community to which they are going to be returning six-to-ten months prior to their discharge date, setting up a smoother glide path in the ever-challenging transition of military service to civilian life.
- New York State will increase affordable housing resources throughout each of the next three years for Veterans and their families.
More information on the State of the State and a video of the address, can be found at 2022 State of the State (ny.gov). The State of the State book can be found at 2022StateoftheStateBook.pdf (ny.gov). Additional information on benefits for Veterans and Military Families in the State of New York can be found at New York State Division of Veterans’ Services | (ny.gov).
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.