2021 Chapter Laws
Last year’s Veterans of Foreign Wars legislative agenda started under our first woman State Commander, Barbara Kim-Hagemann along with Past State Commander Brian Wiener, was very successful. Working alongside members of the Legislature we were able pass bills which improved the health, wellbeing and financial security of veterans, military personnel, and their families. We were the first to demand accountability and an investigation into the Paramus and Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home tragedies. It has been a year and a half; the VFW would like to see a complete and fair investigations move forward to ensure proper control and preventive measures were implemented, and if warranted, legal action against those responsible. Our deceased veterans, their families, and the veteran community deserve answers and accountability.
Our 2022-2023 Trenton legislative priority goals include:
Continuing to demand an investigation into the Paramus and Menlo Park Home deaths and infections.
Ensuring our local Posts that serve veterans and families in need receive their fair share of Cares Act funds or other grant or loan programs, by requiring the EDA and all other agencies include Congressionally Chartered veteran organizations organized under IRS 501 (c) (19) in any non-profit grant or loan program.
Ensuring the budget for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is not reduced, and the programs or earned benefits of veterans are not diminished.
Increased programs and funding to promote veteran, troop and family mental health wellness and prevent suicide.
Eliminating New Jersey’s long-standing practice of only granting benefits to veterans based on dates and location of service, leaving a large percentage of veterans without state benefits. New Jersey is the only state in the Nation that classifies veterans in this unjust and unfair manner.
Restoring veterans’ preference to municipal employees affected by the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act.
Requiring the EDA administer a small business loan program to provide loans to small businesses owned or controlled by veterans.
Provide civil service preference to military service members who did not serve in theater of operation.
Eliminate the veterans' gross income tax deduction requirement that New Jersey National Guard member serve in federal active-duty status.
Provide state pension system members in federal or State military service who are injured or killed with disability or death benefits.
It is important to the VFW and the State of New Jersey that our returning and retiring veterans call New Jersey home. For far too long New Jersey has been at the bottom of many "veteran friendly states” lists. We will be advocating for legislation to further reduce property taxes for veterans, active, Reserve, and Guard troops along with surviving spouses this year to ensure our defenders of freedom stay right here in New Jersey. Together we can make New Jersey a veteran friendly place to stay or move into.
Our legislative team looks forward to working with you this year to improve the lives and wellbeing of our troops and veterans.
VFW sponsored or supported legislation signed into law:
S-1770/A2244 Dancer, Murphy, Tucker, Singer, Corrado –
Revises provisions of State law concerning claiming and proper disposal of cremains of veterans and eligible spouses or dependents.
S-275/A2142 Cruz-Perez, Tully, Swain, Dancer –
Provides resident tuition rate to certain non-resident dependent children of United States military personnel attending public institutions of higher education.
Requires DMVA assist service members discharged solely due to LGBTQ status with petitions to change discharge designation.
S-278/A3807 Kean, Cunningham, Stanley, DeAngelo, Danielsen - Establishes certain rights for students with military obligations attending public institutions of higher education and permits late registration for students with military obligations. *
S-956/A3805 Connors, Stack, Gove, Rumpf, Armato, Mazzeo
Extends veterans' property tax exemption to tenant shareholders in cooperatives and mutual housing corporations.
S-961/A-3805 Singleton, Cruz-Perez, Armato, Zwicker, Verrelli –
Establishes annual grant program to recognize institutions of higher education that offer comprehensive array of veteran programs and services.
S-3918/A5849 Carter, Tucker, Vainieri, Lagana, Turner –
Requires Adjutant General of DMVA send weekly reports to Commissioner of DOH on status of veteran’s homes in State during every future public health emergency; requires such reports through December 31, 2021. *
S-3906/A5850 Armato, Mazzeo, Conaway, Gopal, Lagana –
Requires DMVA veterans’ memorial homes to hold quarterly town hall meetings with veterans’ guardians.
S-3905/A5851 Swain, Tully, Freiman, Gopal, Lagana –
Allows veterans’ guardian to remove veteran from DMVA veterans’ memorial home under certain emergency circumstances.
S-3904/A5852 Houghtaling, Johnson, Chaparro, Gopal, Lagana –
Requires DMVA veterans’ memorial homes to communicate with veterans’ guardians via at least two communication means.
S-3903/A5853 Danielsen, Mejia, Jimenez, Diegnan, Vitale –
Requires administrator and assistant administrator at State veterans’ memorial home have prior work experience in clinical setting.
S-3907/A5854 Mazzeo, Armato, Chaparro, Gopal, Lagana –
Requires position of resident advocate at each State veterans’ memorial home.
S-3908/A5855 Tucker, Speight, Vainieri, Cruz-Perez –
Requires DMVA veterans’ facilities provide payroll-based journal information to NJ Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
S-3909/A5856 Zwicker, Jimenez, Conaway, Vitale, Diegnan –
Requires Director of Division of Veterans’ Healthcare Services in DMVA to have prior clinical and long-term care experience.
S-2059/A3123 DeAngelo, Murphy, Moen, Beach, Pennacchio –
Allows veteran or personal representative to withdraw honorable discharge papers from county clerk.
S-3041/A4861 Vainieri, Armato, Verrelli, Vitale, Gopal –
Requires DOH to publish total number of COVID-19 deaths and cases in long-term facilities. *
Our programs support our service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. Your tax-deductible donation will be immediately directed to the VFW programs where your support is most urgently needed.