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(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Matthew W. Milam, Cleopatra Tucker and Herb Conaway, M.D., to create a council to oversee Veterans Haven, a state operated facility for homeless veterans serving veterans from all over New Jersey, has received final legislative approval, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

“The council will make sure that this facility is indeed a haven for veterans in need,” said Milam (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “They put their lives on the line for our country. It is now time for us to return the favor at a time in their lives when they most need it.”

“This group will play the very important role of ensuring the needs of our veterans are being met,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “It’s tragic that men and women who served their county find themselves without a home to call their own, but this is one way for us to try to help.”

“This council will be responsible developing policies to better of lives of those veterans receiving services at Veterans Haven,” said Conaway (D-Burlington/Camden). “If this bill becomes law, we’ll know there is a group of people who will see that those who have given so much will receive the life-affirming care they need.”

The bill (A-4111) was approved 78-0 by the Assembly in June. It was approved 37-0 by the Senate earlier this month.

The Veterans Haven Council will formulate policies for the coordination of services for the veterans housed at Veterans Haven located in Camden County; will consult with and advise the Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs and the Director of Veterans Services with respect to the work of Veterans Haven; recommend standards and procedures for application and termination of eligibility for admission to Veterans Haven; and recommend standards of care, treatment and discipline governing the relationship between Veterans Haven and the persons admitted there.

The council will consist of seven members. The Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs will serve as a nonvoting ex-officio member. Each member will be appointed by the Adjutant General with the approval of the Governor. The term of each member will be three years. Council members are subject to removal by the Adjutant General at any time for good and sufficient cause.

The bill was also initially sponsored by Jack Conners, who recently resigned from the Assembly.