Beach/Van Drew Bill Extending Veterans’ Preference

A view of the Senate Chambers from the 2010-2011 Senate Reorganization.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Jim Beach (D-Camden) and Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland) that would help provide war veterans with preferred status when applying for public sector jobs was approved today by the full Senate.

“Our returning veterans have experience and capabilities that can be tools not just in the armed services, but here in New Jersey’s workforce,” said Senator Beach. “When we take into consideration all that they have given in service of their country and their extraordinary abilities, why should we not push our returning soldiers to the front of the line for public jobs? It is the least we can do to thank them for their commitment and to utilize their skills.”

“Often we forget that our returning servicemen and women are simply more than soldiers, but trained, highly capable people who can make great contributions to public service here in our state,” said Senator Van Drew. “Given the current economic climate, we should be doing all we can to help our veterans obtain gainful employment when they come home.”

Under current law, New Jersey war veterans who have passed state civil service examinations are provided a hiring preference over nonveterans when applying for state, county and municipal jobs. The bill (S-1877) would authorize towns which do not participate in the state’s civil service system to provide a similar veterans’ hiring preference.

Eligible veterans would have to be proven to be at least as qualified with as other candidates for the position to be awarded a hiring preference.

The bill was approved 38-0 and now moves to the Assembly for further consideration.

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