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Budget and Program Oversight under the jurisdiction of the Assembly Standing Committee on Veterans' Affairs


To review the budget and program implementation initiatives of state agencies under the jurisdiction of the Assembly Standing Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Roosevelt Hearing Room C

December 15, 2005
10:00 A.M.

Legislative Office Building
2nd Floor
Albany, New York

The New York State Veterans' Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over the Division of Veterans' Affairs, the New York State Department of Labor Veterans Program and several scholarships administered by the New York State Higher Education Service Corporation. This hearing shall be held in accordance to Rule IV, Section 4 (b) of the Rules of the Assembly.

Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of an emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes' duration.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Hon. Darryl C. Towns
Member of Assembly
Committee on Veterans' Affairs


  1. The State budget in FY 2005-06 appropriated $5,000,000 to the New York State Blind Veterans Annuity Program pursuant to Chapter 453 of the Laws of 2000 and Chapter 251 of the Laws of 2004. Up to $15,000 of the appropriation may be transferred to the state operations for postage costs associated with this program. Is there a direct deposit option for qualified recipients of the program? If not, does legislation need to be enacted to allow for this to happen?

  2. Prior to the enactment of Chapter 453 of the Laws of 2000 and Chapter 251 of the Laws of 2004, IRS had stated that the Blind Veterans Annuity was a gift and not taxable. The Social Security Administration regarded it as income and reduced one's Supplementary Security Income dollar for dollar by the amount of the blind annuity. What is the federal policy today? Are the blind annuity recipients who receive SSI obtaining any benefit from the state annuity?

  3. How many of the Division of Veterans Affairs' programs are being administered by other state agencies? Please identify each program and agency that is helping the Division with budget functions. Do you anticipate that more programs under the jurisdiction of the Division are going to be operated by other state agencies?

  4. Under Chapter 271 of the Laws of 1994, as amended by Chapter 358 of the Laws of 1999, the Division of Veterans Affairs created the position of a Women Veterans Coordinator. Is this position funded? Does the coordinator have any responsibilities in addition to coordinating services for women?

  5. Chapter 553 of the Laws of 1994, as amended by Chapters 507 of the Laws of 1996 and Chapter 524 of the Laws of 1999, requires veterans who meet eligibility requirements for any employment and training programs administered by any state agency to be given preference over non-veterans. Each state agency is required to designate an administrator or coordinator of veterans services who oversees the implementation of the Veterans Bill of Rights for their particular agency. The Division of Veterans' Affairs is required to maintain the list. Is there a list and is it available to the public?

  6. Prior to March 1st of each year, state agencies administering employment and training programs shall submit a written annual report to the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly, the Temporary President of the Senate and the Director of the Division of Veterans' Affairs. Have you created a report each year since the enactment of the Veterans' Bill of Rights?

  7. What is the status of the Veterans' Bill of Rights under the jurisdiction of the Veterans Program at the Department of Labor?

  8. The New York State Department of Labor, as the administrative entity directed to implement the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in New York State, has requested a general waiver to allow Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) and the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists to serve both veterans and the universal one-stop customers. Why was this request made by DOL? What effect would approval of this request have on the Veterans Bill of Rights?

  9. The New York State Higher Education Service Corporation oversees the implementation of several veterans related scholarships: Awards for Children of Veterans, Veterans Tuition Awards (Vietnam veterans, Persian Gulf Veterans and Afghanistan Veterans) and the MERIT Plan. How many veterans or family members are served by each award? Is there adequate funding for each of the scholarships?

  10. The Veterans Awards Program must be renewed every two years by the Legislature and the Governor. Should the program be renewed again, and, if so in what period of time should the program be renewed?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on the budget and program implementation of state agencies under the jurisdiction of the Assembly Standing Committee on Veterans' Affairs are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

Joanne Martin
Principal Analyst
Assembly Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Room 513 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: martinj@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4355
Fax: (518) 455-4128

box I plan to attend the following public hearing on budget and program oversight under the jurisdiction the Assembly Veterans' Affairs Committee to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Veterans' Affairs on Thursday, December 15, 2005.

box I plan to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.

box I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

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