Lawmakers seek first-in-the-nation set-aside program to enable service-disabled
veterans to participate in annual state legislative internship program
On Veterans Day, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) and New York State Senator Bill Larkin (R,C-Cornwall-on-Hudson), a World War II and Korean War combat veteran, today called on the state Legislature to create the G.I.V.E. Back NY program (Giving Internships for disabled Veterans not fully Employed) to enable disabled veterans to participate in the Assembly and Senate’s annual legislative internship program.
Tedisco and Larkin’s legislation (A.9774/S.7626) sets aside 10 percent of the current Assembly Session Internship and Senate Student program positions for service-disabled veterans to apply to be part of this first-in-the-nation pilot initiative.
The G.I.V.E. Back NY program can also be implemented administratively by the Assembly and Senate leadership.
“On Veterans Day and every day, we are thankful for everything our veterans have given us so that we are safe and free as Americans. Who better than our wounded warriors to see the inner workings of the republic and representative democracy they put their lives on the line for to the extent they now have to deal with a life-long disability,” said Tedisco.
“G.I.V.E. Back NY sends the message that our state and the New York State Legislature truly values the service of our disabled veterans in deeds as well as words. As our disabled veterans learn about state government, my colleagues and I and our college interns will learn from them about honor, duty, courage, and perseverance, lessons that our leaders in state government probably need now, more than ever. This program will not only assist our disabled veterans financially, but provide them with significant experience to put on their resumes for future long-term employment,” said Tedisco.
"Our Legislature and democracy could not exist without the hard work and sacrifices made by our servicemen and women,” said Senator Larkin. “As a veteran of 23 years of active duty military service I strongly support the implementation of the G.I.V.E. Back NY program. Offering an opportunity for disabled veterans to become more involved in the Legislative Process is the least we can do for those who have given so much for our state and country,” said Larkin.
In 2014, there were 120 interns in the Assembly Internship program, which was down from 180 interns in 2013. Currently, the Assembly Internship program is open to students matriculated in a four-year college. Undergraduates receive a $4,500 annual stipend ($6,500 for CUNY students) and graduate students earn $11,500. It is budgeted at $929,149 this fiscal year. The Senate Student Program is budgeted at $752,323.
Tedisco and Larkin propose G.I.V.E. Back NY enrollees receive an $11,500 stipend for the semester-long program. There’s no additional cost to taxpayers to implement G.I.V.E. Back NY.