TRENTON – A Senate committee today released legislation Senators Jim Beach and Donald Norcross sponsored to allow the state Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs to raise outside funds specifically for the purchase of a community outreach vehicle.
“Not every veteran has the ability to simply walk into their county office or nearest VA hospital or make the drive to Trenton to receive services they need,” said Beach (D-Camden), chairman of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which released the measure. “In these cases, we need to be able to go directly to veterans in need. This outreach vehicle can be an essential tool to ensuring all our veterans get the care and services they deserve.”
Under the bill, S-1629, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs would be authorized to create a specific, non-lapsing fund for donations and grants towards the purchase and maintenance of a handicap-accessible service vehicle that would provide outreach services to disabled veterans.
Outreach vehicles are traveling offices and mini-service facilities capable of providing outreach services to disabled veterans, including health screenings.
“Especially given the state’s current fiscal situation, the Department needs this ability to go out into the greater community and raise private funds so they can get the vehicle they need to reach every veteran without sacrificing funding from other worthy programs,” said Norcross (D-Camden).
The bill was released 4 – 0 and is now poised for a vote in the full Senate.