Beach Legislation Providing Economic Assistance/Aiding Servicemen & Women Clears Committee

Creates Incentives To Hire National Guardsmen and women, creates Veterans Haven Council

TRENTON – Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Beach (D-Camden) that would promote job creation among our nation’s servicemen and women and create a Veterans Haven Council cleared the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee today.

The first bill, S-1015, would permit businesses that hire National Guard or reservists mobilized to active duty service to receive either corporation business tax or gross income tax credits. The amount of the credit would be equal to 20 percent of the employee’s salary and wages paid during the privilege period, but would not exceed $2,000 for each qualified employee. Senators Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Morris, Hunterdon) and Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) also cosponsored the legislation.

“Businesses may hesitate to hire those serving in the National Guard for fear of losing their employment if they are called into duty,” said Beach, chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “That is unfair to those who serve to protect our country and it needs to be corrected. This bill will be giant step towards fixing this issue, because it will provide an incentive for businesses to hire National Guardsmen and women.”

Currently, National Guard and reservists often face a lack of employer support during their service. New Jersey’s National Guardsmen and women and reservists unselfishly protect New Jersey and our country, but because they serve part-time and have non-military employers at their full-time jobs, they do not have as much employer support as their full-time counterparts.

The second bill, S-2998, would create a Veterans Haven Council within the Division of Veterans Services in the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs (DOMAVA). The Council would develop policies for the coordination of services for the veterans housed at the Veterans Haven facility, consult and advise the Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs and the Director of Veterans Services with respect to the work of Veterans Haven, and recommend standards of care, treatment and discipline governing the relationship between Veterans Haven and the persons admitted there.

“We can never possibly do enough to repay the service and dedication our veterans have shown, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can to assist them,” said Beach. “The Council is just one way we can further aid our veterans housed at the Haven facility by making sure they are getting the best care possible.”

The council would consist of eight members, of whom at least five must be veterans, and at least two must be women. Each council member would serve a term of three years. There are an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 homeless veterans living in New Jersey. Veterans Haven is a State-operated facility for homeless veterans located in Winslow Township and run by DOMAVA. In addition to housing, homeless veterans receive addiction services and counseling and vocational training while at Veterans Haven.

S-1015 now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. S-2998 now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

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