TRENTON – A bill co-sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale which will close a veterans’ loophole which prohibits active-duty servicemen and women from receiving veteran’s preference under civil service regulations was signed into law last week by Governor Corzine.
“Our nation’s military personnel give so much of themselves to protect this country, and when they choose to continue their public service as civil servants, we should honor that decision, and their sacrifices,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “However, the previous veteran’s preference provision for civil service jobs does not account for our veterans’ decisions to quickly transition from active-duty to civilian life. Under this new law, veterans would be granted a quicker avenue to public service jobs, keeping with the spirit of the original veteran’s preference program.”
The new law, S-2430, will permit an active-duty member of the Armed Forces or a reserve component who has been called to active duty to receive veteran’s preference under civil service. The law will allow veterans who receive determination of their status to file for the veteran’s preference after they take the civil service exam, but will require that they submit proof of veteran’s status eight days prior to the release of a hiring list for which that person received a passing score.
Senator Vitale noted that his support of the bill was as a result of the advocacy of two recent veterans in his district, Army Sgt. Jason William Bone and Marine Corps Lance Corporal Neal E. Auricchio, Jr., both of whom served in Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively, as part of the United States’ continuing War on Terror.
“Sgt. Bone and Lance Corporal Auricchio, having served their tours of duty, decided to give more to their fellow countrymen, and that, to me, is an admirable goal,” said Senator Vitale. “With everything these two have been through defending our country in two of the most dangerous war zones in recent history, they’ve definitely served their nation. For these two brave men, and the thousands of other soldiers who wish to continue their service to America beyond their time in the military, the veteran’s preference is an invaluable tool to make that happen.”
The bill was approved by the Senate in June.