— POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Senator Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) met with his Dutchess and Putnam County Veterans Advisory Committee last evening at American Legion Post 1302 in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Representatives from local VFW posts, American Legion posts and organizations that provide services to veterans joined Senator Gipson to discuss actions by the State Legislature and the needs and issues important to veterans and their families in the Hudson Valley. 

Senator Terry Gipson meeting with veterans.

“As a member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, I take our responsibility as a state and community to support our veterans and their families very seriously,” said Senator Gipson. “In my first year of office, the input from veterans in our community has played an important role in what we have been able to accomplish thus far.”

During the meeting, Senator Gipson highlighted legislative accomplishments from 2013 as well as his legislative focus for the 2014 session, with an emphasis placed on creating jobs and reducing the cost of living in the Hudson Valley. Many veterans in attendance expressed their joy in the passage of legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Gipson, that provides localities the discretion to offer veterans a partial exemption from school taxes, the largest local tax burden placed on property owners (S.1199). The bill was signed into law and adopted locally in Pine Plains, Wappingers and more recently in select Putnam County towns. Senator Gipson also shared photos from the 1st Annual Veterans and Families Fair (an idea given to him by members of the Veterans Advisory Committee) and discussed plans for a second event in the fall.

Two speakers joined Senator Gipson at the event to share the mission of their respective organizations. Jeremy Pink of Hudson River Housing led a detailed discussion on the issues of homeless veterans as well as other housing issues. Cathy Terrizzi of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) shared the opportunity for veterans and their families to take advantage of the free service offered by the SBDC to assist individuals interested in starting a business.

Senator Gipson concluded, “I look forward to continuing to work with my Veterans Advisory Committee and veterans from Dutchess and Putnam to ensure that our veterans both young and old have access to a good job, education, affordable healthcare and roof over their heads.”


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