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Recent New York State Laws & Initiatives
– Driver’s License Fees – NYS Department of Motor Vehicles now cannot require any payments for the duplication or alteration of an existing driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card prior to its renewal date, if the purpose of asking for the duplication or alteration is solely to add the distinguishing Veteran’s mark on the card. This law became effective on December 7th.
– Property Tax Exemption – New law increases the real property tax exemption from $5,000 to $7,500 for Veterans buying real estate with "eligible funds." "Eligible funds" under this law means money from a pension, bonus, or insurance (or dividends or refunds on an insurance policy), or payments received from the Federal government as POW compensation. This law goes into effect on July 1, 2015.
– Temporary Hiring List – For temporary employment in public service positions in NYS, NYS must hire a qualified Veteran from a "Veterans Temporary Employment List" rather than going through a temporary employment agency. NYS Department of Civil Service must maintain this list of Veterans seeking temporary employment in a State public service position. This law is effective now.
– Tax "Check-Off" For Homeless Veterans – NYS taxpayers can elect to contribute a monetary gift to a new "homeless Veterans assistance fund" when paying their State taxes. This gift is purely a gift, in that it does not reduce in any way the amount of State taxes that an individual owes. This law becomes effective with the taxable year beginning January 1, 2015.
– Supplemental Burial Allowance Changes – Previously, under the law governing the NYS Supplemental Burial Allowance program, a qualifying death had to actually occur inside the combat zone for the surviving family members to qualify for the benefit. Under the amended law, however, a service member who dies of wounds incurred in combat will be a "qualifying death" for the benefit, even if the actual death occurs outside of the combat zone. The new application is available on DVA’s website by following this link: http://veterans.ny.gov/…/new-york-state-supplemental-burial… <http://veterans.ny.gov/content/new-york-state-supplemental-burial-allowance> . This law goes into effect on February 14, 2015.
– In-State Tuition For G.I. Bill Recipients – Anyone who is not a NYS resident and is attending a State University of New York or City University of New York college using the G.I. Bill shall receive the in-state tuition rate, even though they are not NYS residents. This allows them to maximize their G.I. Bill benefits, and not have to pay the extra costs that would come from being charged the out-of-state rate. This law is effective now.
– Professional Licenses For Military Spouses/Domestic Partners – The spouse or domestic partner of a service member who is licensed in another state to practice as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson, or to obtain a barber, esthetics, cosmetology, natural hair styling, or nail specialty license, and who moves to New York State with the service member, can receive the same professional license in NYS without re-applying. This law is effective now.
Of course, there are several other NYS programs that recognize a Veteran’s MOS or out-of-state professional license without making that Veteran jump through any more hoops to be licensed in NYS. For the current list of MOS and license programs granted recognition by the NYS "Experience Counts" initiative, see: http://veterans.ny.gov/content/experience-counts <http://veterans.ny.gov/content/experience-counts> .
– Lifetime Liberty Pass – Veterans with a service-connected disability of 40% or higher can receive a pass for free admission to NYS parks and other State outdoor facilities for fishing, hunting, camping, etc. The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation administers this program. The full guidelines and application form for this pass is available at this link: http://nysparks.com/admission/lifetime-liberty-pass.aspx <http://nysparks.com/admission/lifetime-liberty-pass.aspx> . This program is effective now.
– Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act – NYS established a goal of awarding 6% of State governments to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses. This program is being administered by a brand-new NYS Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development, operated by the NYS Office of General Services. If a business owner wants to apply as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business, the application is available at this link:http://ogs.ny.gov/Co…/Docs/SDVOBCertificationApplication.pdf  <http://ogs.ny.gov/Core/Docs/SDVOBCertificationApplication.pdf> . Applications are being accepted now.
– Veteran Liaison Officers – Each NYS agency has appointed a "Veterans Liaison Officer" to coordinate initiatives affecting Veterans, service members, and military families. This program is effective now.
– No Income Limit For Gold Star Annuitants – Previously, NYS required an income cap for Gold Star Annuity Program eligibility. Now, there is no income requirement for Gold Star Parents to receive this Annuity from NYS. Gold Star Annuity application form is available at this link: http://veterans.ny.gov/con…/gold-star-parent-annuity-program <http://veterans.ny.gov/content/gold-star-parent-annuity-program> . This law is effective now.
As autumn arrives the trees and weather are changing’ which bring many activities to our Post and community.
Our Fish Fries have gotten under way, thanks again to our fish fry chairmen Steve Ballard for getting this off to a good start. If you are unable to work, please come and support the Legion and let us make you a delicious dinner for you and your guests. Remember, the fish fries will be every Friday 4:30- 8pm until Nov.21th.
Like October, November will be busy month for our veterans, which play a big part in the Post activities. Once again the Holland Patent High School music department will be having its Veterans Concert on November 5th Wednesday at 7:00pm in the high school auditorium. Come see how these young people, who do a great job in honoring our veterans from the surrounding communities.
Saturday, November 8th will be our Veterans cover dish dinner at 7pm. Happy hour is 6-7 pm. A signup sheet will be near the bar at the Legion. Tuesday, November 11th at 11:00 am our Post will celebrate Veteran’s day at the Legion with a service followed by a luncheon for all the Veterans within our area. Anyone wishing to bring in pictures or memorabilia of your time in the service to display and share with us would be appreciated.
As always we ask all of our members to look for and recruit new members that are eligible to belong to the American Legion. There are a lot of eligible people out there so please help us maintain strong by asking them to join us. Applications are available at the Post for the asking. This applies to the Auxiliary SAL as well as for the Legion.
Remember, November and December is coming faster than you think, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be time to spend with our families and friends to help bring in the New Year, let’s not forget what we have done to help our veterans throughout the past year! So let’s end the year on a good note ,remember the Veterans who have done so much for the freedom we have every day and to all the men and woman around the world who defend this great nation.
Special Date: Roberts Post 161 Annul Blood Drive, Date 12/15/14 – 1:00pm-6pm Monday at the Legion. Let’s give for a friend, our family, and a veteran!
We also would like to extend to all our Post members and their families, a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Veterans Serving Veterans,
Thank you to all the members who have paid their 2015 dues under the Early Bird program which ended 10/15. Currently we are at 65% of our membership quota. Our 2015 dues are payable through 12/31/14 to stay current. Please encourage friends and neighbors to pay dues by that date so the Post can be 100%.
We currently have 5 new members and look forward to welcoming more.
For God and Country and the Good of the Legion,
Gary Wedgewood, Membership
HAPPY FALL! We are off to a fairly busy one with the Fish Fries starting. They will end on Fri., Nov. 21, 2014. If you aren’t able to work, please come and join us by having one of our delicious dinners on a Fri. night. We would love to see you.
Diane Money is working very hard on the raffle we are having for the month of Nov. Thank you Diane for all your hard work. After this fundraiser is over, we are thinking of doing an Auxiliary cookbook with recipes from our excellent cooks who are also valuable members. If you have a favorite recipe, please mail or e-mail it to me, or drop it off at the Post.
We just did the Sitrin’s “Stars & Stripes” run/walk as part of Team Blaise. It was a wonderful experience and a big thank you to Linda Covich and Ruth Duheme for all the hours you spent on this. Many more of our Auxiliary were involved and I am so proud to be a member of such a great team of ladies.
Mary Briggs and Alice Shaler are planning the Juniors activity Christmas card making on Sat. Nov. 29, 2014, from 10:00 until ?, for our veterans who are in Oneida Co. nursing homes . It is a wonderful way to let these men and women know we care about them. Please feel free to come and join us in this event.
Alice is doing a really good job with membership, our quota was raised by county because last year we were fortunate enough to have ladies join our team and we hope this will continue. Remember the saying, “a woman’s work is never done”, and that is so true of the Auxiliary. The more members we have, the more we will be able to do for our veterans, our active military men and women, our children, and our community. Let’s help Alice by getting the word out that Leon R. Roberts Unit 161 can never have too many members.
November is very a very important month. Don’t forget to get out and vote. A Veteran’s Concert will be held at the Holland Patent High School on Nov. 5th at 7:00 pm. The students and teachers put on an excellent show for our area veterans. It will be a lovely way to spend a night out. Nov. 11, the Legion will hold a Veterans Day ceremony starting at 11:00 am. This, too, is a heartwarming event in honor of our veterans.
December always brings busy times. We will be decorating the Legion for the holidays and all help would be appreciated. I don’t have a date for that yet, but I will try to let many of you know when it will be. There will also be bookings for Christmas parties and we will be calling and asking for help with these.
I am so pleased with the number of ladies who come to the meetings. Sometimes a meeting goes longer than I would like, but that is usually because we have a lot of matters to tend to. Don’t forget, our meetings are the first Monday of each month and they start at 7:00 pm.
I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends, a very Merry Christmas, and a New Year that starts off with happiness and love for all of you.
Yours in Service,
Sons of the American Legion:
S. A. L. 2015 membership is currently at 75%. We are always open to new members so encourage friends to join. There is a joint project this fall to refurbish the emblems on the end of the Post which we will contribute to. I want to thank the members who are participating in the NFL Sunday food sales, Friday fish fries and other Post functions. Keep up the good work!
For God and Country,
Commander John Bieksza
The Leon R. Roberts Post 161 is once again sponsoring our annual Cash Bash
Raffle. We want to give everyone an opportunity to win one (or more) of twenty seven (27) prizes. Only 2000 Tickets will be sold on a first come first serve basis. Odds of winning any prize is one out of seventy four. – . – .
Prizes for the Cash Bash Raffle are:
1 @ 1O,000
1 @ 3,000
1 @ 2,000
5 @ $500.
4 @ $250.
15 @ $100.
The drawing will be held at the Leon R. Roberts Post 161 on Sunday,
December 7, 2014 starting at 5:OO pm. You do not have to present to win, but everyone is welcome to join us for food and drink specials.
To acquire the application please write request to the Post Raffle Committee, PO Box 161, Holland Patent, NY 13354. After receiving the application just follow the instructions that are on each one.
Please use one application for each ticket, photo copies of applications are
acceptable. Your official ticket will be mailed to you.
Thanks for your support,
Post Raffle Committee.