Long Beach, NY - November 6, 2015 - On October 26, 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky’s legislation granting certain benefits and honoraria to the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), which they have never before received.
“I am honored to have to had the privilege of introducing and passing bipartisan legislation officially recognizing the Vietnam Veterans of America,” said Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky. “Those who gave so much to our country at the very least deserve to be recognized as the heroes they are. In advance of Veterans Day, let us all resolve to do whatever we can in the coming year to support our veterans. I would like to thank Senator Terrance Murphy for inviting me to today's ceremony and for his leadership on the issue.”
The legislation authored by Assemblyman Kaminsky declares VVA to be a benevolent order and grants it various benefits that are available to other veterans' organizations in New York State, such as the storage of records, flags, relics, and other memorabilia for prominent display within the hallowed halls of state capitol. Specifically, the legislation will:
- Add the Vietnam Veterans of America to the list of organizations contained within the benevolent orders law, conferring the rights and privileges available under that law;
- Require the state commissioner of general services to set aside suitably furnished space in the capital for quarters of the VVA for the preservation of its records, a benefit that was previously available only to the Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars;
- Allow VVA to host meetings in National Guard armories, like other veterans' organizations;
- Fix various areas of the general municipal law and the general city law where VVA was omitted, allowing them to be designated as the veterans' organization responsible for the observance of Memorial and Veterans Day parades and ceremonies; and
- Authorize the state bureau of war records to preserve and complete the records and relics of VVA to make as complete as possible the history and statistics of the wartime service of New York State residents.
The bill passed the New York State Senate on Thursday March 26, 2015, where it was sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy and the New York State Assembly on May 28, 2015.
Assemblyman Kaminsky said his legislation would ensure that VVA organizations are afforded the same benefits as other veterans' organizations in New York State so they can better support the next generation of America's war veterans and continue to serve our communities.