Identification Card Would Make it Easier for Veterans to Take Advantage of Discounts or Other Courtesies Extended to Military Personnel
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan which would permit counties to create identification cards for veterans living within the county, in order to allow them to more easily access special discounts and other offers extended to individuals who have served in the military was approved by the Senate today by a vote of 39-0.
“In order to properly recognize the sacrifices and service of the men and women who’ve served in the nation’s Armed Forces, many businesses in New Jersey – and even some local governments – have created discount programs and courtesies intended for veterans,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “While the county-issued ‘proof of service’ ID card won’t be sufficient proof to qualify a veteran for official benefits like property tax deductions or education benefits, it will make life a little easier for vets trying to access courtesy programs intended for them. This is a matter of convenience for New Jersey’s veterans who’ve fought to protect our nation’s interests abroad.”
The bill, S-2991, would permit county clerks to create an identification card for veterans who live within the county and do not already hold a veteran ID card issued by the federal government. The cards would not serve as sufficient proof of service for official government business or to secure veterans’ benefits – such as the state-administered veteran property tax deduction, or GI Bill education benefits. According to Senator Whelan, the intention of the cards is to help veterans receive discounts and other courtesies extended to military veterans.
Senator Whelan noted that some shore towns offer free or reduced cost beach badges to military veterans and their families in the summertime. Many local businesses also provide discounts to veterans for a variety of services and goods, including deals on electronics, travel and restaurants, according to the Atlantic City lawmaker, Whelan added.
“This bill is designed to eliminate a lot of the guesswork that goes into making sure people qualify for certain veteran courtesies,” said Senator Whelan. “These programs really represent a small token of thanks to the brave men and women who’ve served in our nation’s military. By ensuring that only eligible New Jersey residents can take advantage of these courtesy programs, we’re making sure that vendors aren’t being taken advantage of, and that the benefits are still there when a legitimate veteran goes to claim them.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.