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Tucker & Conaway Bill Creating Veterans Memorial Homes Oversight Board Passes Committee

In an effort to create better oversight of New Jersey’s three Veterans Memorial Homes to ensure better quality of life for residents, Assembly Democrats Cleopatra Tucker and Herb Conaway sponsor a bill to establish a “Veterans’ Memorial Homes Oversight Board.” The legislation was advanced by the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Monday.

Under the bill (A-5174), a twelve-member oversight board would be created within, but independent of, the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). The board would recommend standards and procedures regarding admissions, care, treatment and more.

In addition, the board would review violations reported, complaints filed and investigations conducted within each home to identify systemic issues affecting facility operations, and make recommendations regarding how to address these problems.

Upon the measure advancing, Assembly members Tucker (D-Essex) and Conaway (D-Burlington) issued the following joint statement:

“Transparency is key when it comes to the well-being of the residents entrusted to the care of our veterans memorial homes. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that existing oversight and communication protocols were not enough to avert or properly address crises as they arose in these facilities.

“Our veterans deserve to have their health and safety prioritized by the people who watch over them. This legislation will help ensure their needs are met by establishing thorough oversight in these homes.

“An oversight board that will actively review and bring to light problems residents are facing will help make sure issues get resolved more quickly and efficiently going forward.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.