Gov. Andrew Cuomo marked Veterans Day by signing a handful of bills to help New York's heroes.
Cuomo approved legislation that adds post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana. Before Saturday's action, the state's medical marijuana program didn't allow the drug to be prescribed for PTSD treatment.
Another bill signed by Cuomo will provide additional paid leave to combat veterans employed by the state. The leave will allow veterans to attend counseling sessions or receive medical treatment.
A measure introduced by Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, a Syracuse-area Democrat, was signed by Cuomo. Hunter's bill waives the civil service examination fee for veterans who were honorably discharged.
"I was proud to sponsor this legislation and I commend Governor Cuomo for signing it and for all of our work to ensure New York supports veterans," Hunter said in a statement.
Other bills signed by Cuomo include a requirement that the Department of State and state Division of Military and Naval Affairs maintain a public list of the not-for-profit corporations that solicit donations for the armed forces. He also approved a bill directing the state Office of General Services to set aside a public location within the Capitol in Albany for a POW/MIA chair and plaque honoring prisoners of war and those who are missing in action.
Cuomo announced the new laws as he prepared to march in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.
"The message is very, very simple: We have tremendous respect and honor and gratitude for what the veterans have done for this country," he said. "This country is not this country without the work of the veterans. And their sacrifice and their courage is the highest form of patriotism."