ALBANY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – In honor of Memorial Day, NewsChannel 34’s Jamie DeLine tells us that the New York State Senate passed 5 bills to improve the lives of veterans who are still with us.

{{Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, Brooklyn}} “Memorial Day is to honor those who have fallen, and the best that we can do to honor their memory is to pass bills in at the state level, at the federal level, every level to make sure we are honoring the living.”

Recently a package of veterans legislation passed in the State Senate. Included is a bill sponsored by Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton that would inform local veterans organizations when a veteran is returning home.

“A lot of times the most difficult point of transition for a returning service member is the first couple of months of the first year.”

She says local veterans organizations can help make the transition to civilian life easier.

“When my husband returned home, we didn’t necessarily know every resource available. Whether that’s housing resources, mental health resources, using the post 9/11 GI bill that he ended up doing which is a great resource. So there’s so many different things and so many different elements that we have here in New York State. This will help those veterans be connected to those resources.”

Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt explains another piece of legislation that also recently passed in the Senate.

{{Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt}} “There was a bill in here I think that dealt with naturalization with people who served in the military having a pathway to become citizens which I think stands in stark contrast to some of the things that we have seen around the country today, so I think those bills to my knowledge were all supported by our conference.

This bill would also allow a pathway to citizenship for their family members as well.

Reporting in Albany, I’m Jamie DeLine.