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Blankenbush calls for disabled veterans to fill internship openings in state Assembly

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A new proposal offered Tuesday would open internship roles in the state Assembly for disabled military veterans.

The Give Back NY Program would allot from 10 to 15 percent of the 180 internship positions for the veterans. The program, which supporters say will provide job experience to veterans in a civilian workplace, is scheduled to be in place by 2015.

Assemblyman Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River, said in a statement he was happy about the program and the improvement in support for veterans since he returned from military service in Vietnam.

“It’s important that we continue to support and assist these American heroes who have given their all for us in any (way) we can,” he said.

The program is not expected to cut into the opportunities for college students involved with the program. Statistics presented by Mr. Blankenbush’s office say about 60 internship positions are left unfilled each year.

The new program will not bring any new costs, according to supporters of the initiative, with the additional interns falling under current money allocated to pay intern stipends.

The current internship program has a budget of about $929,149.

Mr. Blankenbush said he and other Assembly Republicans are working with Democrats in the legislative body to launch the program.

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