Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill Strengthens New York’s Support for Troops and Military Families

June 28, 2004

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D-Ulster and Dutchess Counties) announced Assembly passage of a bill that strengthens and improves the state’s Patriot Plan (A.11697). The provisions ensure that New York’s service men and women receive the benefits they deserve.

"Last year we passed the Patriot Plan to provide New York’s service men and women with a smooth peacetime transition, take care of their families and boost morale," Assemblymember Cahill said. "But we should not be complacent as there is still so much more we can and need to do for our troops and their families."

Included in the bill are a 25 percent increase in National Guard pay, from $100 to $125 a day and a tax exemption on National Guard pay when deployed in New York for any emergency, including combating terrorism. The bill will also allow government retirees to be rehired to fill in for those mobilized by the National Guard without affecting their pension.

To further strengthen the Patriot Plan of last year, the Assembly’s bill will:

  • make the protections offered to military personnel and their families less complicated and easier to enforce when dealing with foreclosing on a mortgage, tenant evictions, canceling insurance policies and canceling auto leases
  • provide tuition benefits for veterans of the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan and
  • extend the definition of "children" who can receive benefits to include adopted children, stepchildren, children for whom an individual was a legal guardian or blood relatives whom an individual had custody of

Assemblymember Cahill noted that the bill also revokes the tax-exempt status of charitable organizations found to be aiding terrorism.

"We owe our troops a lot, that goes without question," Mr. Cahill said. "These additions and revisions, a true patriot plan, represent a humble way of saying thank you to them for all they do. I will continue working to let them know how grateful we are," he concluded.