The New York State Senate sends a package of legislation to the assembly today which would help New York’s military veterans achieve success in business, employment and education.
The Senate’s version of the bill would establish a program to provide state contract preferences for small businesses owned by service disabled veterans. The bill would mirror a highly successful program for federal contracting.
Information released by the New York State Department of Labor and the U.S. Census says that nearly 20 percent of recent veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed. It was also reported that a staggering 28 percent of Gulf War-II era veterans reported having a service-connected disability.
This legislation will put New York State on the same level as the federal government, which through an Executive Order, issued in 2004 by President George W. Bush established a three percent set-aside of all Federal contracts for service disabled veterans.
In 2009, similar legislation passed both the New York State Senate and Assembly, but was vetoed by Governor Paterson who believed that the six-percent preference was too high. The bill passed today provides for a three-percent set-aside that does not compete with the current set-aside for minority-owned and women-owned businesses.