Bills to Encourage Recognition of Veterans’ Day by Private Employers, Offer Disability Benefit to Widows
TRENTON – Two bills, sponsored by Senators Joseph V. Doria and Paul A. Sarlo which would encourage private business to provide military veterans with a paid holiday on Veterans’ Day and provide veterans’ widows with the disabled veterans’ property tax exemption when the veteran’s disability declaration is granted after death were approved by two key Senate panels today.
“Our fighting men and women give so much to the causes of liberty and freedom, and we should give a little back,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “These two bills are token thank yous from the State of New Jersey to the men and women who protect us from our enemies abroad, and I fully expect to receive bipartisan support for both measures when they come before the full Senate for a vote.”
The first bill, S-2559, sponsored by Senators Doria and Sarlo, would expand the eligibility criteria for the disabled veterans’ property tax exemption, to allow surviving spouses to claim the exemption if a veteran’s disability declaration is granted post mortem. Under the bill, municipalities would also be permitted, at their discretion, to refund all taxes paid since the time of the veteran’s actual disability, or since the time of death. The bill was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee by a vote of 3-0.
“This measure is about the State doing right by veterans and their families,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “Often, the surviving spouses of veterans live on a fixed income, which can make it hard for them to cover basic living expenses. By providing this property tax relief, the State would be working to help ease some of the burden on the spouses of families of individuals who risked their lives abroad while trying to protect our rights here at home.”
The second bill, SR-86, sponsored by Senator Doria, would urge private employers to provide military veteran employees with a paid holiday on Veterans’ Day. Senator Doria added that a paid holiday would allow veterans to take part in parades, ceremonies and memorial services honoring those who had served in the Armed Forces, and would allow employers to recognize the contributions that veterans have made to this country. The bill was approved by the Senate Labor Committee by a vote of 5-0.
“Our State’s veterans have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom, and Veterans’ Day should not fall victim to America’s workaholic tendencies and glossed over as just another day on the calendar,” said Senator Doria. “Veterans should be allowed to take time out from the daily grind to be honored for all that they have done to preserve the American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s a matter of fairness that we allow our military veterans to take part in the ceremonies in their honor, and I think many businesses will jump at the chance to honor our brave veterans on their special day.”
Both bills now head to the full Senate for consideration.