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TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Beach, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Jeff Van Drew and Senator Donald Norcross that would allow taxpayers to make voluntary contributions on their gross income tax returns to help support New Jersey nonprofit veterans’ organizations passed the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

The bill, S-3010/S-3029, would establish a special fund in the Department of Treasury, known as the “Fund for the Support of New Jersey Nonprofit Veterans Organizations,” and would provide grants to private nonprofit veterans organizations for programs and services supporting New Jersey veterans.

“We owe it to our veterans’ organizations to provide them with some financial support as recognition of the service veterans gave to our country,” said Senator Beach (D-Camden, Burlington). “Many of these veteran groups play such integral role in parts of our community’s landscape and some assistance is necessary.”

“Our veterans deserve better. They risked their lives around the world defending our freedoms and rights,” said Senate President Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem). “We owe them an eternal debt of gratitude and this legislation makes it easier for people to contribute to groups that provide veterans with the services and benefits they need.”

“It is fitting and appropriate that we are considering this legislation during the week of Veterans’ Day. Americans paused on Monday to recognize the commitment and personal sacrifice the men and women who served in the armed forces gave, and I cannot think of another way to help our veterans groups survive than moving this legislation forward,” said Senator Van Drew (D-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland).

“Donations to local veterans’ organizations are dwindling. However, with this bill, it is my hope that more people contribute a few dollars a year from their income tax returns to help keep the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country,” said Senator Norcross (D-Camden, Gloucester). “Veterans groups provide an important role in helping veterans get the services they need.”

In 2010, there were nearly 500,000 veterans living in New Jersey, according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed the bill by a vote of 5-0 and now heads to the Senate floor for a vote

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