New York Civil Service Credits for Disabled Veterans Amendment, Proposal 2 (2013)

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Proposal 2
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Article V, Section 6
Referred by:New York Legislature
Topic:Veterans
Status:Approved Approveda

The New York Civil Service Promotions for Disabled Veterans Amendment, Proposal 2, was on the November 5, 2013 ballot in New York as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. It was overwhelmingly approved.

The measure entitled veterans with certified combat-related disabilities extra credits towards eligibility when competing for civil service appointments or promotions.[1]

State Representative Fred Thiele (I-1) sponsored the measure in the state legislature as Assembly Bill 4359.[2]

Prior to Proposal 2, the state constitution granted veterans a one-time-only additional credit on civil service examinations. Certified disabled veterans were entitled to a higher amount of one-time-only additional points. A veteran, however, could only accept one grant of additional credit. If a veteran was appointed or promoted before being certified as disabled, that person was not eligible for the higher amount of credits.[3]

The amendment created an exception to this rule. It allowed veterans who were certified disabled after receiving an appointment or promotion to receive additional credit one more time after certification of their disability.[3]

Election results

Below are the official election results:

Proposal 2
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 2,173,484 83.65%
No424,85816.35%
These results are from the New York Board of Elections.

Text of measure

Ballot summary

The official ballot text read as follows:[3]

Additional Civil Service Credit for Veterans with Disabilities Certified Post‐Appointment

The proposed amendment to section 6 of article 5 of the Constitution would entitle a veteran who has received civil service credit for a civil service appointment or promotion and subsequently is certified as disabled to additional civil service credit at a subsequent appointment or promotion. Shall the proposed amendment be approved? [4]

Constitutional changes

Proposal 2 amended Section 6 of Article V of the Constitution of New York to read:[5]

New York Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIXXX
Appointments and promotions in the civil service of the state and all of the civil divisions thereof, including cities and villages, shall be made according to merit and fitness to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive; provided, however, that any member of the armed forces of the United States who served therein in time of war, and who, at the time of such member's appointment or promotion, is a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and a resident of this state and is honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from such service, shall be entitled to receive five points additional credit in a competitive examination for original appointment and two and one-half points additional credit in an examination for promotion or, if such member was disabled in the actual performance of duty in any war, and his or her disability is certified by the United States department of veterans affairs to be in existence at the time of application for appointment or promotion, he or she shall be entitled to receive ten points additional credit in a competitive examination for original appointment and five points additional credit in an examination for promotion. Such additional credit shall be added to the final earned rating of such member after he or she has qualified in an examination and shall be granted only at the time of establishment of an eligible list. No such member shall receive the additional credit granted by this section after he or she has received one appointment, either original entrance or promotion, from an eligible list on which he or she was allowed the additional credit granted by this section, except where a member has been appointed or promoted from an eligible list on which he or she was allowed additional credit for military service and subsequent to such appointment he or she is disabled as provided in this section, such member shall be entitled to ten points additional credit less the number of points of additional credit allowed for the prior appointment.

Support

The measure was sponsored by Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-1) and was approved unanimously by the New York Legislature in 2013.[5]

Supporters

The following legislative officials were sponsors or co-sponsors of A 4359:[5]

Arguments

The League of Women Voters listed the following supporting arguments:[6]

  • The measure would benefit individuals who, for whatever reason, were not classified as a veteran with disabilities at the time of their first civil service appointment. Approving this measure would fix this error.
  • Veterans, particularly disabled veterans, have higher rates of unemployment than the generalized population. This measure would increase the employment opportunities for such veterans.[6]

Opposition

The League of Women Voters noted that they could not find any opponents or opposing arguments.[6]

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of New York ballot measures, 2013

Support

  • Adirondack Daily Enterprise said, "Vote yes to Proposal 2, which would let disabled veterans get their allotment of bonus credits for civil service employment even if their disability was certified after they first apply for civil service... let's say for post-traumatic stress disorder, which is often diagnosed late - one is locked in at the basic veteran level. That's a flaw we should fix."[7]
  • Albany Times Union said, “Proposal 2 would allow veterans who are certified as disabled after their appointment or promotion to get those additional credits. With a 900,0000-case backlog in the Department of Veterans Affairs, many disabled vets are being cheated out of credits they deserve, and clearly need this change. We urge a "yes" vote.”[8]
  • Livingston County News said, “This one-time grant is only fair to veterans plagued by a disability and deserves a yes vote.”[9]
  • New York Times said, "One would grant disabled veterans more credit on Civil Service exams, a worthy fix."[10]
  • The Observer said, “The amendment benefits those who through no fault of their own were not classified as a veteran with disabilities at the time of their first civil service appointment.”[11]
  • Post Star said, “Little or no opposition to this proposal has surfaced, and why would it? This is a simple matter of fairness and deserves a yes vote from everyone.”[12]
  • Watertown Daily Times said, "This amendment provides veterans additional credit on their state civil service ranking for a certification of disability credit granted after they had received their ranking. This one-time grant is only fair to veterans plagued by a disability and deserves a yes vote."[13]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the New York Constitution

According to the New York Constitution, a majority vote is required in two successive sessions of the New York State Legislature in order to qualify an amendment for the statewide ballot.

Proposal 2 was referred to the ballot after being approved by both houses in successive terms by simple majority. A04359 was approved for a second time by the New York State Senate on June 4, 2013[14] A04359 was approved for a second time by the New York State Assembly on March 18, 2013, respectively.[15]

Senate vote

June 4, 2013 Senate vote

New York Proposal 2, A04359 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 63 100.00%
No00.00%

Assembly vote

March 18, 2013 Assembly vote

New York Proposal 2, A04359 Assembly Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 141 100.00%
No00.00%

Similar measures

See also

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