Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso’s bill A08703, which requires vacancies on the state veterans’ homes board of visitors be filled in a timely manner and would allow boards to appoint interim members if the seat’s vacant for 270 days, was recently passed in the NYS Assembly.
“State Veterans Homes benefit greatly from a strong, robust Board of Visitors. Veterans who serve on the Board of Visitors play a key role in helping make the Home a success,” said Fred S. Sganga, FACHE, Executive Director of the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University. “They serve as ambassadors to the veterans’ community and promote the long term care benefits and entitlements our veterans have earned through military service. Board members also play a role in assisting the Home in issues of advocacy for our veterans and their families. We are grateful to Assemblyman D’Urso for championing this important issue.”
“The vacancies on the Board of Visitors have deeply affected our veterans who are living at the Veteran Homes,” added Joe Ingino, Southern District Director of the Vietnam Veterans of America’s NYS Council and member of the Veterans Advisory Board of the LI State Veterans Home at Stony Brook. “The members of the Board of Visitors provide so many needed services for these veterans; monitor the way the home is run to make sure that our veterans get the excellent care they deserve, organize activities, help raise awareness about the Home to other veterans and assist in raising funds. With these vacancies, it’s the veterans that are losing out.”
New members have not been appointed for several years and presently there are many vacancies which, for a long time, have left some of the homes unable to function properly as they do not have enough members to form a quorum.
The interim member will have the same rights and duties as an appointed member and serve until a nomination is made and a quorum is not required for purposes of the board appointing the interim member, as long as a majority of the current members, and those serving in a hold-over capacity, vote in favor of the interim appointment.
Board of visitors members serve for five years and a “hold-over capacity” is referred to members whose term has expired and continues to serve on the board until his or her successor is chosen.
“We want to be sure that these boards are able to function and carry out their crucial duties to assist our veterans. The board members would be allowed to appoint interim members if a nomination is not made in a timely fashion,” D’Urso said