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Memorial Day / June 2017 Newsletter

As we celebrate this Memorial Day, we should consider some of the important issues facing our service members.

On a national level, an extension of the Veterans Choice Program -- a new, temporary benefit that allows eligible Veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility -- has resulted in budget cuts to VA benefits, as a tradeoff. While the merits of proposed tradeoff is certainly debatable, many veteran groups, especially the older VA groups, such as American Legion and Vietnam Veterans of America, have been critical of the proposed cuts because it adversely impacts the older veterans the most.

On a local level, the following initiatives have been introduced to the NYC Council:

1. Int. 1259-2016 to Add Veteran and Military Status to the NYC Human Rights Law.

2. Int. 1304-2016 to Implement the Alternative (School Tax) Exemption for Veterans.

3. Res. 1196-2016 to Support Complete Passage of “Fairness for Veterans Act” Provisions.

4. Int. 1303-2016 to Provide Appropriate Protections for Veteran Street Vendors in “Street Vending Modernization Act.”

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Looking ahead, next month’s calendar offers a chock-full of interesting events, including: