Girgenti Offers Assistance To National Guard Members

Bill Would Allow Voluntary Contributions on Income Tax Forms

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator John A. Girgenti, which would allow taxpayers to contribute to a fund to assist National Guard members by indicating a contribution on the New Jersey income tax return, was approved by the Senate Law, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee today.

“There are approximately 5,000 New Jersey National Guard Members who have been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, and as the operations over seas continue, more soldiers will likely be called to duty,” said Senator Girgenti, Chairman of the committee. “The citizen-soldiers of the National Guard are part of the largest mobilization and deployment since World War II, and we need to aid the military members and their families while they serve our country.

The Girgenti bill, S-2434, would establish a special fund known as the “NJ National Guard State Family Readiness Council Fund” to help New Jersey National Guard members deployed during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and their families.

“The National Guard Family Readiness Council provides a great service and helps not just the National Guard members but also their family members who have been affected by the deployment of the National Guard,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic.

Senator Girgenti noted that the fund could supplement the Family Readiness Grant Program that was created from donations last month. The existing program distributes up to $2,500 to soldiers’ families and up to $5,000 for businesses owned by soldiers, added Senator Girgenti.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.