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Cuomo to set agenda boosting veterans


Associated Press

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will propose measures this week to benefit some of New York’s more than 900,000 military veterans, targeting businesses owned by disabled vets for some state contracts, according to administration officials familiar with the plan.

Cuomo is set to outline his agenda for 2014 in the state-of-the-state address Wednesday. He also plans to hold a summit this spring on the needs of veterans and services for them and their families.

The officials, who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the proposal hasn’t been formally announced, said Cuomo will set a goal of awarding 5 percent of contracts to disabled veterans.

They said one federal estimate shows 8 to 12 percent of veterans who own small businesses are disabled.

The state has more than 127,000 veteran-owned small businesses.

“New York’s veterans served our country and Gov. Cuomo believes that we can and should do more to serve them,” one of the officials said.

New tax credits took effect Jan. 1 for employers who hire the state’s 75,000 veterans of military service since the 9/11 terror attacks. The $74 million in credits are intended to help offset high unemployment among those veterans, a rate of about 10 percent nationally and slightly higher among those under 25.

New York has also authorized localities to give veterans municipal and school tax breaks and credit military experience when establishing lists for government hiring. In 2011, Cuomo directed state agencies to consider military experience in licensing, credentialing and granting academic credits from state universities.

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