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Ritchie, Griffo, Russell promoted veterans’ jobs bill


Northern New York state legislators are pleased a bill passed the Senate and Assembly Monday that would give preference for state contracts to businesses owned by disabled veterans.

Sens. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, and Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, were both supporters of the bill, as was Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa.

According to the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, there are roughly 106,000 service-connected disabled veterans in New York state. The bill would require the commissioner of the state Veterans Affairs office to promulgate a process to give favored treatment to companies owned by disabled veterans for up to 6 percent of state contracts.

“I’m fortunate to be able to represent Fort Drum, as it gives me an opportunity on a regular basis to see everything our troops do not only for our region, but also for our country and this legislation is a tremendous way to say ‘thanks’ for their service” Sen. Ritchie said in a press release.

Sen. Griffo also said he was happy to see the law passed in his house of the Legislature.

“I am pleased to represent so many veterans who serve at Fort Drum and in Rome. My goal is to keep as many of these skilled, knowledgeable people in my district after their military service is finished,” he said in a news release. “I support this legislation because it offers a real opportunity for those with a service-connected disability to start a second career here. I was pleased to again support Senator Ball’s legislation and I commend Governor Cuomo for recently speaking out in support of this bill. I am pleased that New York has joined the federal government and 40 other states in offering a helping hand to these small business owners.”

Mrs. Russell also was pleased with the passage of the bill in the Assembly, which sends it on to the governor to sign.

“Over a decade of active military operations has focused attention on the need to support our veterans after they have completed their service to our country,” Mrs. Russell said in a news release. “The state is a large customer, and this legislation says let’s choose to do business with the brave men and women who have sacrificed for our country.”

The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act will establish the Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development within the Office of General Services. OGS would coordinate training of procurement personnel with an emphasis on increased responsiveness to the needs of service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. The office also would provide advice and technical assistance and promote an understanding of state procurement procedures to increase the participation of businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

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