New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) announced this week that the New York State Assembly has passed a State constitutional amendment that would close an existing loophole that denies civil service credit to disabled veterans. The bill, A.2088 to which Thiele is the prime sponsor, was unanimously approved by the Assembly on March 14th.
Current law allows civil service credit to be used once and does not allow for the veteran to apply additional credits if they are classified as disabled at a later date. This legislation would benefit individuals who, through no fault of their own, were not classified as a veteran with disabilities at the time of their first appointment to a civil service position. It provides that in circumstances where a person has used a veteran's credit for civil service purposes and thereafter is classified as a disabled veteran, the additional credit which would be earned because of disability may be used for a subsequent test or appointment.
Thiele stated, “In the current ‘War on Terror’, many Americans have interrupted their lives and careers to serve in active duty in the military. Certainly that is the case here on Long Island with the Air National Guard in Westhampton. However, if a soldier was to leave his/her job and serve in combat and then become disabled and return to his or her career, he/she could not receive the additional civil service credit they earned because of their disability. This is patently unfair. I’m glad the Legislature has recognized this inequity and is taking steps to correct it. I also want to thank local veteran Bill Hughes of Hampton Bays for bringing this issue to my attention.”
The amendment is currently pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee where it is sponsored by State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle. Should this amendment also pass the Senate during the 2012 Legislative Session, it must pass both Houses of the Legislature a second time in 2013 in order for it to appear on the general election ballot for approval by the voters of New York State.