|Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs|
Democratic Research Aide: Ben A. Graziano
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Video: Greenwald on his Bills Helping Gold Star FamiliesAssembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) on his sweeping legislative package to provide mental health services and other resources to Gold Star families. The bills (A-4399/4401/4402/4403) were approved Wednesday by the Assembly.
Watch the video here.
Andrzejczak, Mazzeo, Land, Tucker & Benson Bill to Create Veterans Diversion Program to Divert Eligible Servicemembers Away from Criminal Justice System and Into Appropriate Care Approved by AssemblyLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak, Vince Mazzeo, Bruce R. Land, Cleopatra Tucker and Dan Benson create a Veterans Diversion Program to divert eligible servicemembers away from criminal justice system and into appropriate case management and mental health services was approved 69-0 Wednesday by the Assembly.
"The wounds of war are not just physical. Many soldiers return home with mental trauma that, when untreated, puts them and others at risk," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). "These veterans need mental health services, not jail. We owe it to them, and the public to ensure that we are treating those veterans with mental health issues so that they are not a danger to themselves or others..."
Assembly Democratic Bill Package to Provide Free Mental Health Services, Facilitate Access to Benefits & Resources to Gold Star Families Approved by Assembly
Bills Sponsored by Greenwald, Johnson, Land, Andrzejczak, Mazzeo, Houghtaling, Benson, Jones, Mukherji & DanielsenA legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lou Greenwald, Gordon Johnson, Bruce R. Land, Bob Andrzejczak, Vince Mazzeo, Eric Houghtaling, Dan Benson, Patricia Jones, Raj Mukherji and Joseph Danielsen to provide mental health services and other resources to Gold Star families was approved Wednesday by the General Assembly.
The term "Gold Star" describes a family member who has lost a loved one in military service. A Gold Star Family member is defined to mean a spouse, domestic partner, partner in a civil union, parent, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or other legal custodian.
"Gold Star families have given the greatest sacrifice they can for our freedoms, and we need to do our part to support them," said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). "These bills will provide needed support to navigate the challenges and difficulties they face in the wake of losing a loved one."
Drug Addiction Insurance Coverage, Opioid Addiction Public Awareness Campaign, Gender Pay Equity at Biz that Get NJ Help, Gold Star Family Assistance & Life in Prison for Murdering Minor in Sex Crime Highlight Wednesday Assembly SessionSeveral Bills Opposing Trump Actions Also Set for Votes
Also on Tap: Veterans Diversion Program, Student Opioid Abuse Education, Expanded Infertility Coverage, Earn Your Way Out Act, Task Force on Adults with Autism, Statewide Hit-and-Run Alert System & Reader Privacy Act
Legislation to require health insurance coverage for substance abuse addiction treatment and place restrictions on opioid prescriptions, establish a public awareness campaign to educate about the dangers of opioid and heroin addiction, ensure gender pay equity for businesses receiving state financial assistance, help Gold Star families and require life imprisonment without parole for persons convicted of the murder of a minor under the age of 18 in the commission of a sex crime highlight Thursday's Assembly voting session.
Several resolutions opposing President Trump's policies are also set for votes...
Downey & Houghtaling Bill to Connect Those Who Served to Programs, Benefits for Veterans Advanced by Committee13-Member Commission on Veterans' Benefits Would Help Support Veterans & Their Families
Legislation Assembly Democrats Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling sponsored to help connect veterans in New Jersey with the programs and benefits for which they are eligible was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.
The bill (A-4171) would establish the New Jersey Commission on Veterans' Benefits in the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The 13-member commission would develop, maintain and annually update a five-year statewide veterans' benefits strategic plan that includes goals and measurable outcomes to ensure that all state departments and agencies are effectively delivering comprehensive services and support for veterans and their families.
"Many veterans are aware of how they can benefit from resources the federal government offers, but they're sometimes uncertain about what they and their families may qualify for at the state level," said Downey (D-Monmouth). "A commission dedicated to making sure veterans have access to the programs and benefits they're eligible for and deserve will help New Jersey honor its obligation to those who have served this nation."
Mazzeo, Mukherji, Andrzejczak, Land & McKnight Bill to Allow Service Members to Wear Military Uniforms at H.S. Graduation Goes to GovernorLegislation Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo, Raj Mukherji, Bob Andrzejczak, Bruce Land and Angela McKnight sponsored to allow high school students serving in the United States Armed Forces to wear their military uniforms at their graduation ceremonies was approved 38-0 Monday by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.
"Students in the military earned the right to wear their uniforms to graduation on the day they volunteered to put their lives on the line for the United States of America," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "There really should be no debate whatsoever about this issue..."
Mazzeo, Andrzejczak, Mukherji, Moriarty, Benson, Danielsen & Houghtaling Bill to Boost Care for 'Wounded Warriors' Goes to GovernorLegislation Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo, Bob Andrzejczak, Raj Mukherji, Paul Moriarty, Daniel Benson, Joseph Danielsen and Eric Houghtaling sponsored to boost assistance for "wounded warriors" and their caregivers, an ever-growing demographic that faces unique challenges in the post-9/11 era, was approved 37-0 Monday by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.
"The purpose of the bill is to help care for those who are caring for our veterans," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "Care-giving for post-9/11 veterans is a massive economic and societal undertaking that we're facing right now. The enormous sacrifice our military members have made during two wars for over a decade now deserves a better response from our end..."
Caputo Bill to Promote NJ's Contributions to America's Military History Continues AdvancingAssembly-approved legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo to help highlight and promote places and sites in New Jersey of historic significance to the military or the country's war efforts was advanced Monday by the Senate Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.
"New Jersey has played in important role in America's military history. One of the most important battles of the American Revolution was fought just blocks from the State House. People need to know this," said Caputo (D-Essex)...
Downey, Houghtaling & Lampitt Bill to Fund Social Services for Veterans Clears Assembly Committee'Veterans Assistance Grant Program' Would Provide Support for Mental Health Care, Housing
Legislation Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling and Pamela Lampitt sponsored to help provide more veterans with counseling, employment and housing services was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.
"New Jersey's veteran population is made up of people who were willing to give their lives for the United States of America. At the very least, they deserve to rest assured that they can get help when they need it - whether it's talking to a therapist or finding an apartment," said Downey (D-Monmouth). "Providing funding to help these men and women is part of honoring our obligation to those who served."