Legislation Seeks To Put Service-Disabled Vets Back To Work

- Veterans are working to drum up support for legislation that would help their businesses. 

Jim Terhune spent years serving our country.

"I have 13 years in the military. I was in during the 70s," he said.

Now the service-disabled veteran runs T & T Materials. His metal supply company does business just about everywhere except for one place. 

"We cannot do business in New York State. I'm just not sure why so we don't even bid contracts anymore," he said.

Terhune is one of dozens of veterans that attended a rally in Albanythis week, pushing for the Jobs For Heroes Act. 

"What it does do is open the doors. It gives you an opportunity to get in and talk to them, I think; and then just use excellent sales skills to keep doing it," Terhune said.

New York State Senator Ted O'Brien is supporting the legislation. It would require five percent of state contracts be awarded to businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

"We know that the Governor is on board with trying to move in this directions. I have co-sponsored legislation that will now go to the committee cycle and I'm optimistic that with the Governor's support and support on both sides of the aisle in the Senate; and I would imagine we would have a similar experience in the Assembly; that this is the kind of legislation that should go forward," he said.

"Let's do it this time, that's what I would say. It has gone on far too long and we're one of the last states that hasn't," Terhune said.

A Republican senator from downstate introduced the bill. New York is home to nearly 900,000 military veterans. More than 40 other states have measures in place to ensure service-disabled veterans are awarded contracts. 

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