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Bill would give veterans easier access to state parks and wildlife areas

Feb 20, 2020 12:45 am
Emma Ryan is reporting for The Legislative Gazette a bill intended to provide veterans with easier access to state parks and wildlife areas passed the Assembly unanimously February 13. It is now awaiting a floor vote in the Senate. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Brian Benjamin and Assemblymember Didi Barrett and would require a study on the barriers that veterans face in accessing the outdoors and identify ways to fix them. The goal of the legislation is to promote the outdoors as a form of therapy for veterans suffering from physical disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. According to the bill text, “Recent studies have found that time outdoors can be valuable adjunct therapy in addition to more traditional types of health care.” If signed into law, state officials would be required to study the obstacles veterans face in taking advantage of the natural, outdoor resources of New York state and make plans to eliminate and reduce those barriers. Read the full story in The Legislative Gazette.