Bill would give NJ reservists same tuition benefits currently offered to NJ National Guard members
(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) has introduced legislation that would help lower the cost of going to college for New Jersey members of the Reserve Components of the United States Armed Forces.
“Reservists are an important component of the Armed Forces,” said Mazzeo. “Like the National Guard, they supplement the Armed Forces in times of need. It is only fair that we provide New Jersey reservists the same tuition assistance that we give our National Guard members. Considering their contributions to the safety of our state and country, these benefits are well deserved.”
Under current law, a member of the New Jersey National Guard is permitted to attend regularly-scheduled courses at a public institution of higher education and receive up to 16 credits per semester tuition-free. The law also provides a tuition benefit to a child or surviving spouse of a member of the National Guard who is killed in the performance of his or her duties while on active duty, if available classroom space permits and the tuition-paying students constitute the minimum number required for the course.
The bill (A-4572) would extend these tuition benefits to a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States who is a resident of New Jersey, and to a child or surviving spouse of such a member of the reserves who has been killed in the line of duty. The child or surviving spouse must also be a state resident. The reserve components of the Armed Forces include the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Reserve, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve.
“This can help existing members balance their tuition costs with the rest of their expenses, and even serve as an incentive for those who are considering joining the reserves,” added Mazzeo.
The bill has been referred to the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.