(TRENTON) Legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, and Assembly Democrats Cleopatra G. Tucker, Gordon M. Johnson, Daniel J. Benson, Wayne P. DeAngelo, Gilbert "Whip" L. Wilson to encourage Veterans and members of the Armed forces to pursue higher education goals that would better prepare them for today's work force advances after 74-0 vote Monday by the Assembly.
The measure is one of several the Assembly Democrats have collectively supported to reinvigorate economic development throughout the state, including job creation, training and education.
"These are real-life heroes who too often come home to face financial troubles despite their great sacrifice to our nation," said Majority Leader Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). "A college education is the gateway to a better future, so this simple step is the right thing to do for our veterans and members of the Armed Forces.
"Our military deserve every break we can give them for their enduring service to our country," said Tucker (D-Essex). "An opportunity to further their education will help them to continue making invaluable contributions to our country."
"Our veterans and military are the pride of our nation," said Gordon M. Johnson ( D-Bergen) "These men and women have defended our freedom with bravery and courage. So let's do what we can to help them achieve their education goals."
The bill (A-2626) requires a public institution of higher education in the state to waive or reimburse application and transcript fees for each veteran, member of the Armed Forces of the United States or member of the New Jersey National Guard who resides in New Jersey and accepts admission to the institution.
"Our military places their lives on the line so that each of us may have the privilege to live as we choose," said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). "We now have an opportunity to show our gratitude by relieving some of the financial burden that comes with pursuing a higher education."
"For their sacrifice and dedication, our military deserves any advantage we can provide to encourage their education endeavors," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). "A simple yet meaningful action, this bill would extend a well-earned courtesy to our most honorable New Jersey citizens."
"Higher education costs can add up before an individual even starts class," said Wilson (D-Camden, Gloucester). "For military families, the costs of college are especially burdensome. This legislation can relieve some of the smaller initial college expenses and extend another 'thank you for your service.'"
The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.
To read more, please visit the New Jersey General Assembly Democratic Office Web site.
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"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."- Nelson Mandela
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