Created for the purpose of serving as a liaison between the Executive, State and Federal Legislative branches of government and the United States Armed Forces, a bill that would establish the New Jersey Military Advisory Board within the Department of State was recently approved by the full Assembly 80-0-0. Assembly Democrats Carol Murphy, John Armato and Christopher Tully are the measure’s sponsors.
The bill (A-4550) calls for the Board to consist of 11 members who would remain informed and engaged in military matters and events in the state. The group would work with Congress, base commanders, and public and private entities, including, but not limited to, the Picatinny Enhancement Coalition, the Defense Enhancement Coalition, and the Chamber of Commerce.
“Establishing a New Jersey Military Advisory Board will help ensure that the various stakeholders involved in military issues in New Jersey remain informed,” said Murphy
(D-Burlington). “It also creates a bridge to military matters on the federal level which is crucial.”
“A board of this kind will help New Jersey remain competitive with regard to military contracts, installations and missions,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “Remaining updated of what is happening in the military space will allow us to be more proactive as opposed to reactive.”
The board also would issue an annual report consisting of a summary of their work, policy recommendations and a listing of relevant pending legislation recommended for enactment by the Legislature. The report would be available in a prominent location on the website of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and each member of the Legislature would receive a copy. The measure would take effect immediately upon enactment.
“The fact that this bill mandates that the advisory board be responsible for preparing an annual report will help make certain that military issues in our state are properly captured and chronicled,” said Tully (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Having an annual document of this kind go to each legislator as well as the public will provide us a snapshot of what we have already done and a roadmap of what we still need to achieve for our service members. We need to use every tool at our disposal to provide for the men and women on active duty and our veterans.
The bill cleared the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee on February 14. A companion bill (S-3135) in the Senate has been referred to the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.