(TRENTON) – The Governor signed into law Friday legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bruce Land, Bob Andrzejczak, Wayne DeAngelo and Vincent Mazzeo to require public utilities to charge veterans’ organizations a residential rate for service delivered to a property at which a veterans’ organization primarily operates.
Many veterans’ service organizations are commonly located in homes used for organizational purposes and within private neighborhoods. These buildings are not functioning as commercial enterprises but as meeting spaces and program support.
“The cost of public utilities can be cumbersome for these organizations who mainly rely on donations and grant funding to do the honorable work they do for New Jersey’s veterans,” said Land (D-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland). “Now that this is law, we can help those whose mission it is to improve life for New Jersey’s former servicemen and women.”
The new law (formerly bill A-837) requires a public utility to charge a veterans’ organization a residential rate for service delivered to the property at which the veterans’ organization primarily operates, if the residential rate is lower than the commercial rate for service at that property.
“Without many of these organizations, New Jersey veterans’ would not have access to the services and programs they need to find homes, healthcare, and employment opportunities,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland). “This new law is a way we can support the work they do every day in our communities.”
“New Jersey’s veterans’ organizations support our servicemen and women in many ways including transitioning out of military life and into a productive civilian life,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “Helping to reduce the costs of monthly utilities will put money back into these organizations and support their invaluable efforts.”
“We value our veterans’ and their selfless dedication to protecting our democracy and our country throughout the world,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “With this new law, we aim to make it easier for veterans’ service organizations in the state to support our veterans. By relieving some of the burden of operational costs, these organizations can provide more in services and programs.”
Under the new law, public utility, in consultation with the Board of Public Utilities, is directed to establish a reasonable procedure by which an organization may certify itself as a veterans’ organization with the public utility.
The bill was approved by the Assembly in June, 710.