In an overnight veto on October 26, Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again squashed a bill that was passed unanimously in the NY State Senate and had only one dissenting vote in the Assembly. As a result:
- Combat veterans who served in Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo remain ineligible for the NY State pension buyback benefits currently offered to veterans who served in Iraq, Vietnam, and Panama.
- Veterans who guarded detainees at Guantanamo, who manned missile batteries in Israel, who stood guard or sailed across the world during the Cold War, Gulf War, and Global War on Terror in areas not designated as combat zones remain ineligible for the NY State pension buyback benefits currently offered to veterans who served in the U.S. and non-combat areas prior to 1976.
- The relatively small number of veterans employed in NY State and NYC civil service positions continue to be told it is “too expensive” to allow all who served honorably to buy back up to three years of pension credit.
- Veterans employed by the State of Massachusetts can buy back up to four years of pension credit for their honorable service—without the arbitrary rules NY State currently imposes.
- Veterans employed by the Federal government may use all of their years of honorable service as credit toward their pension.
Just like last year—Governor Cuomo gives his veteran employees a VETO of Veterans Equality for Veterans Day. We deserve better.