The Erie County Legislature’s Majority Caucus sponsored a resolution at Thursday’s session in support of proposal that would eliminate fees charged to veterans and/or their next of kin to obtain records. The bill, H.R. 4325, was recently introduced by Rep. Brian Higgins.
“Today, the Erie County Legislature approved a resolution in support of a proposed federal bill that would stop all fees charged to veterans who wish to obtain their military records. It is our belief that their service and sacrifices are payment enough to obtain copies of their own records. We urge all members of the House of Representatives and Senate to support this change,” said Legislator Edward Rath.
Veterans, or their family/next of kin in many cases, are charged upwards of $70 to obtain records, which are necessary for determining eligibility for benefits and/or service medals and honors.
“This fee needs to be done away with. Veterans, or their families, who need or want copies of their records shouldn’t be charged. The least we can do is provide them with copies without financial burden. Erie County is proud to go on record in support of our veterans and this bill,” said Legislator Kevin Hardwick.
The resolution was approved unanimously and copies will be sent to the offices of Congressman Higgins, Congressman Collins, Congressman Reed, Chairman Trey Gowdy, Senator Schumer, and Senator Gillibrand, and any other party deemed necessary and proper.