Chapter 75: Department of Veterans’ Services

Section 3100.

Section 3100. Department; commissioner.

There shall be a department of veterans’ services, the head of which shall be the commissioner of veterans’ services. The commissioner may appoint deputies within available appropriations.

Section 3101.

Section 3101. Definition.

As used in this chapter, the following term has the following meaning:

   Veteran. The term “veteran” shall mean a person who has served in the active military service of the United States and who has been released from such service other than by dishonorable discharge, or who has been furloughed to the reserve.

Section 3102.

Section 3102. Powers and duties.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, the commissioner shall have such powers as provided by the director of the state veterans’ service agency and shall have the duty to inform military and naval authorities of the United States and assist members of the armed forces and veterans, who are residents of the city, and their families, in relation to: (1) matters pertaining to educational training and retraining services and facilities, (2) health, medical and rehabilitation service and facilities, (3) provisions of federal, state and local laws and regulations affording special rights and privileges to members of the armed forces and veterans and their families, (4) employment and re-employment services, and (5) other matters of similar, related or appropriate nature. The commissioner shall also assist families of members of the reserve components of the armed forces and the organized militia ordered into active duty to ensure that they are made aware of and are receiving all appropriate support available to them. The department also shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the state director of the division of veterans’ services.
  2. The commissioner shall utilize, so far as possible, the services, commissions, boards, bureaus, institutions and other agencies of the state and of the political subdivisions thereof and all such officers and agencies shall cooperate with and extend such services and facilities to the department as it may require.

Section 3103.

Section 3103. Veterans’ advisory board.

There shall be a veterans’ advisory board consisting of eleven members, all of whom shall be veterans, six of whom shall be appointed by the mayor and five of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the council. Of these eleven appointees, there shall be one representative from each of the five boroughs of the city of New York. The mayor and the speaker shall each consider service in conflicts involving members of the United States armed forces when making such appointments. All members shall serve for a term of three years and may be removed by the appointing official for cause. Members of the advisory board shall elect by majority vote one such member to serve as chairperson and one such member to serve as vice-chairperson, each to serve in that capacity for one-year terms. In the event of a vacancy on the advisory board during the term of office of a member by reason of removal, death, resignation, or otherwise, a successor shall be chosen in the same manner as the original appointment. A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term. The advisory board shall (i) advise the commissioner on all matters concerning veterans; (ii) hold at least one meeting open to the public in each borough on an annual basis, with notice of each public meeting provided in accordance with the public notice requirements of article 7 of the public officers law except with respect to those requirements provided in section 31-105 of the administrative code, and with each public meeting recorded and broadcast in accordance with subdivision d of section 1063 of the charter; (iii) keep a record of its deliberations; (iv) determine its own rules of procedure; and (v) submit an annual report of its activities to the mayor and the council on or before December 31 of each year. Such annual report should include policy and legislative recommendations for the department of veterans’ services and the council.