Lawmakers Approve Package Of Bills Aimed At Benefitting Veterans And Military Families

TRENTON, NJ — Lawmakers are aiming to make New Jersey more welcoming for veterans and military families by expanding tax credits for the companies that employ them and ensuring dependents of military personnel have access to community-based services.

The Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs committee approved two bills that would expand tax credit programs. The first bill, S-282, sponsored by Sen. Linda Greenstein (D - District 14) and Sen. Troy Singleton (D - District 7), entitled “The New Jersey Battleground to Boardroom Act” would provide a corporation business tax credit and a gross income tax credit to employers for the hiring of certain veterans from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2024.

“Veterans often face unemployment at higher levels as the transition from military service to the civilian workforce following their deployment,” Greenstein said. “Through this tax credit we hope to encourage businesses to hire and retain veterans as employees.”

“For veterans, a major part of a successful transition to civilian life is securing a good job,” Singleton said. “These honorable men and women would be excellent contributors in the civilian workplace, so encouraging employers to consider them when hiring truly is a win-win for all parties involved.”

Under the bill, an employer would be provided with a credit for 10% of the wages paid to a qualified veteran during the course of sustained employment. In order to qualify for the credit, the bill would require the employer comply with a series of conditions including having 25% of its new employees be qualified veterans during a tax year and 50% of the qualified veterans hired retaining their jobs in a year prior to a tax year.

The second bill, S-509, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Zwicker (D - Distrcit 16) and Sen. Joseph Cryan (D - District 20), would establish the Military Spouse Employment Tax Credit Program to provide tax credits to employers for hiring nonresident military spouses.

“Recent studies have shown that military spouse unemployment has remained five times higher than the civilian population, and those that are employed earn much less than their spouses,” Zwicker said. “It is our hope that this legislation can work to improve those numbers here in New Jersey and make it a more welcoming place for military families to live and grow.”

“Frequent moves due to a spouse’s military assignments can make it difficult for the spouse to find a job due to a potential employer’s fear of relocation,” Cryan said. “This bill would help to rectify this problem by incentivizing employers to hire military spouses because of the tax credits. These military families have earned this assistance by their service to our country.”

Under the bill, the amount of tax credit provided to an employer would be dependent upon the number of hours the nonresident military spouse employee worked.

The Senate also cleared Sen. Robert Singer’s (R - District 30) bill that would ensure dependents of military personnel assigned to duty stations in New Jersey qualify for home and community-based services under the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services.

“When the military relocates a family to an assignment in our state, a dependent requiring assistance should get the help they need and qualify for Medicaid reimbursement. There should be no question about it,” Singer said. “This legislation ensures that when they move in, they meet resident requirements and should be treated like New Jerseyans.”

The legislation, S-875, codifies existing provisions in the New Jersey Administrative Code which provides that for individuals applying for home and community-based services whose guardian is in the U.S. States military, residency may be established when the guardian can produce a permanent change of station order to New Jersey.

“The courageous men and women of our military make great sacrifices to serve the nation, and when they re-assigned, they don’t have a choice,” Singer said. “With their dedication and commitment, they more than earn the commonsense accommodations provided by this bill.

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