The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) presented testimony to a joint hearing hosted today by the State Assembly committees on Veterans’ Affairs, Local Governments, Cities, and Women Veterans.

In New York State, counties operate veterans service agencies and support our military veterans through a host of county programs and services. NYSAC’s testimony presented examples of best practices in delivering veterans services along with a series of recommendations for how the state could support stronger and more effective veterans’ services at the local level.

“If the local veteran’s service agency knows when a veteran is in the community, then we can be better prepared to connect them with benefits, programs, and supports that can help in the transition to civilian life,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.

Recommendations made by NYSAC include:
Expanding the number of Veteran Courts from 33 in 25 counties to other counties across the state;
Helping veterans find green energy jobs;
Making SUNY, CUNY and community colleges more military-friendly; and
Providing seed funding for counties who want to create a Veteran Trust Fund that can be used by veterans for training, education, health care, housing assistance, or other essential services.

“Our counties are working hard to serve those veterans who dedicated years of their lives to service for our country. Today, we are asking the state to provide us with more tools to support the vets living in our communities,” said Jeremy Marshall, president of the County Veterans Services Association of New York State.

The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving all 62 counties of New York State, including the City of New York.

Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate, serve and advocate for member counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.