North Country lawmaker in favor of creating a state veterans cemetery in NY

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ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor Andrew Cuomo is introducing legislation that aims to create a state veterans cemetery in New York.

New York is home to about 750,000 veterans. According to the governor’s office, it’s one of only a handful of states without one.

“We’ve got a national cemetery up outside of Schuylerville. One would be nice closer. There are a lot of veterans that really do or should use it,” Keith Childs, a veteran, said.

A State Veterans Cemetery site needs to have “15 years worth of perpetual care costs” before the state can apply for federal funding.

The legislation would “streamline” the process. It would create a committee to chose a cemetery location.

“Our veterans have served the nation with honor and dignity.  Yet, unlike many other states, New York doesn’t have a state veterans cemetery for its heroes. That is why in my first legislative term, I introduced legislation to remove red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy to establish a state veterans cemetery,” North Country Assemblyman Billy Jones said. “ Since then I have been fighting to have this legislation be included in the executive budget proposal and now that effort is being embraced by the governor.  I look forward to working with him to honor these heroes and give them the fitting final resting place they deserve,” he said.

“The men and women who sacrificed for this country need to be recognized for their bravery and I believe that this is a great opportunity to do it right here in our state,” Owusu Anane, Albany City Council Member, said. “As a council member, I’m definitely going to be rooting for Albany to be the place.”

The Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services would chair the committee. In a statement, Jim McDonough, New York State Division of Veterans’ Services Director Colonel (U.S. Army, Ret.), says in part: “New York’s Veterans and their families earned the honor of having a revered and sacred final resting place.”

Under the legislation the committee would also oversee the development of the site.

Gov. Cuomo marched in New York City’s Veterans Day Parade on Monday.

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