(TRENTON) – The General Assembly approved on Monday Legislation sponsored by Paul Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester) authorizing the creation of special license plates to support transitional housing programs serving New Jersey’s homeless veterans. The bill cleared the full Assembly 76-0.
“New Jersey has among its homeless population an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 veterans. This is a travesty,” said Moriarty. “These men and women put their lives on the line to protect our country. They deserve better. These license plates not only honor their sacrifice, but would provide these facilities with additional funds to continue their work with veterans who have fallen on hard times.”
The bill (A-3283) would authorize a special “Support Our Veterans” license plate with the proceeds supporting New Jersey homeless veteran’s centers, Veterans Haven, North and South.
The design of the license plate would be chosen by the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in consultation with the Division of Veterans’ Services in the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs (NJDMAVA).
The bill would impose a $50 initial fee for the license plate, in addition to the current registration fees required by law, and a $10 annual fee, in addition to the current renewal fees required by law. The bill would take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment.
The Veterans Transitional Housing Program, Veterans Haven North and South, are state-operated facilities for homeless veterans serving veterans from all over New Jersey. Veterans Haven is funded by the state and the NJDMAVA, and supported by the United States Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as a wide variety of service organizations, community agencies, veterans groups and private citizens.
“The reality faced by many of these veterans is dire. These facilities provide a myriad of services to help these veterans overcome these setbacks and become productive members of society again. It is incumbent on us to do what we can to help them fulfill this noble mission,” said Moriarty.
The legislation now heads to the Senate for further consideration.