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Tucker, Mukherji, Timberlake Introduce Bill to Provide In-State Tuition Rates to Certain Veterans

Measure Applicable Under Rehab and Employment Program; NJTEAM Act

Looking to reduce higher education expenses for veterans, Assembly Democrats Cleopatra Tucker, Raj Mukherji and Britnee Timberlake have introduced a measure to provide these service men and women with in-state tuition rates under the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program.

The bill (A-5390) will allow certain veterans, as part of the New Jersey Tuition Equality for America’s Military (NJTEAM) Act, who live in New Jersey and attend a public institution of higher education to receive in-state tuition rates regardless of their state of residence.  Other “covered individuals,” such as the veteran’s spouse or child, would also be eligible.

“Tuition for higher education continues to be a source of extreme debt for many individuals and their families,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “Veterans are no exception. This bill will serve as a tool to make these expenses more manageable.”

“By expanding the pool of veterans and their families who can benefit from in-state tuition under the NJTEAM Act, we are thanking our veterans for the tremendous sacrifices that they have made for our nation and our freedom,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson), a former sergeant in the U.S. Marines. “Access to higher education can also improve their transition back to civilian life and widens their economic opportunities.”

“As the daughter of a retired sergeant who served in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, I know firsthand how much our veterans sacrifice each day to protect us all,” said Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic). “This bill is yet another way to thank our veterans for their service.”

The bill was introduced on May 16 and referred to the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. It now awaits further consideration by the Assembly Speaker.