It's important for veterans' voices to be heard by their elected representatives, whether at the local, state or federal level. When legislative bodies don't act in accordance with what returning military personnel need, the day-to-day effects can be disappointing and harmful for vets and their families. This means it's especially important to spotlight those who go to bat for service members and introduce legislation that will help them. On issues ranging from education to housing, health care and beyond, there is work to be done. Below are two recent efforts to create positive change, one at a state level and one on a national scale.

New York: Property tax exemption
There are a few things legislators can do to thank veterans for their service, including introducing tax relief. State legislators in New York have taken this approach, according to the Staten Island Advance. Members of several levels of state government touted a new property tax exemption for New York City vets. Giving veterans one fewer expense to worry about should ease the burden of homeownership and help former military members set up their lives.

State Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Michael Cusick are also behind a new bill meant to accompany a previous law enabling school tax relief that was ambiguous in how it covered New York City residents, due to the fact that there is no school board for the City of New York. The politicians explained that their quest to introduce these new rules is based on giving back to people who have sacrificed for their country. It's only fair, they explained to the news provider, to recognize service where possible.

"While I believe that our original legislation covered the City of New York, Senator Lanza and I authored this bill to make it crystal clear that the City Council has the authority to offer this exemption" said Cusick, according to the Staten Island Advance.

New laws are being pondered for the benefit of veterans and their families.New laws are being pondered for the benefit of veterans and their families.

Congress: Relief sought for ITT Tech students
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the fight is on to provide relief for veterans left with no recourse when for-profit college ITT Tech ceased operations. The school was aggressive about signing up veterans for its programs, and now that it has shuttered, it may be difficult for pupils attending on GI Bill benefits to recoup their loans, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. An effort is now underway to ensure that VA-funded loans are forgiven, though it's become hard to gain agreement in the Senate as to how that should happen.

Currently, Ohio's Sen. Sherrod Brown is leading the effort to get loan forgiveness for the ITT Tech students, though his attempts to form consensus have been stymied by those worried that the VA's other programs will suffer if funds are allocated to the payments. While an agreement is currently lacking, the news provider noted that all groups involved say that they want to ensure the ITT Tech pupils aren't left paying off loans for education they didn't receive. The Plain Dealer pointed out that there is hope of movement on the issue in the near future – Congress tends not to let veterans' issues languish.