TRENTON, N.J. — A bundle of bills from a Republican and a Democrat in the New Jersey State Senate aims to help out veterans.
Sens. Vin Gopal, a Democrat, and Mike Testa, a Republican, introduced six bills they believe will help the men and women who serve American and their families.
The main bill the senators are touting would supplement the state’s first-time homebuyer mortgage and down payment assistance programs for those who served in active duty following the 9/11 attacks, or during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm of the Persian Gulf Conflict and have been discharged under honorable conditions. It would also benefit surviving spouses of those killed in conflict.
“The legislation in this bundle will provide assistance to New Jersey veterans in a myriad of categories, including educational opportunities, incentives for buying homes and settling in our state, and help with purchasing and starting a business,” said Sen. Testa. “These benefits are hard-earned and well-deserved for those who put their lives on the line to serve the United States. The goal is to help make New Jersey the best place to live for veterans, and to thank them for their commitment and sacrifices.”
The remainder of the bills include one forcing the state’s economic development authority to establish a dedicated program and grant funding to help approved veterans purchase franchises; requiring public institutions of higher education to waive tuition and feed for Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipients; and three other bills providing grants and tax relief to veterans.
“This bipartisan bill package is meant to do what is right for the heroes that have served our country,” said Sen. Gopal. “Our veterans deserve to have opportunities available to them whether that be for furthering their education, investing in property in our state, or working towards starting up their own business. We thank the men, women and families of those served for the sacrifices they have endured to keep us all safe, and these pieces of legislation will help veterans achieve their goals.”