Resolution Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion also Signed into Law
Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, which would direct the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs to fund a portion of the legal services provided to homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness, was signed into law by Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver today.
“It is unacceptable to allow our veterans to go from serving our country to living on the streets when they come home,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Our veterans sacrificed time away from their families, friends and work in defense of our freedom so we must do everything possible to assist them during difficult and trying times in their lives. They deserve to be treated with dignity and should have the best services at their disposable.”
“Those who have put their life on the line to protect our country should be provided with legal representation when they’re at risk of losing their home,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “Veterans deserve an advocate when it relates to their well-being, their safety or the security of their family.”
The new law allows the Adjutant General to enter into agreements with entities located in the northern, central and southern regions of the state. The legal services would include the following:
· Legal services related to housing, including eviction defense, representation in landlord-tenant cases, and representation in foreclosure cases.
· Legal services related to family law, including assistance in court proceedings for child support, divorce, estate planning and family reconciliation.
· Legal services related to income support, including assistance in obtaining public benefits.
· Legal services related to criminal defense, including defense in matters symptomatic of homelessness, such as outstanding warrants, fines and driver’s license revocation, to reduce recidivism and facilitate the overcoming of reentry obstacles in employment or housing.
The law will also permit the Adjutant General to require entities entering into agreements to submit reports periodically on legal services provided to homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness.
Additionally, the Lt. Governor signed SJR-86, which commemorates the accomplishments of the American Legion and honors the 100th anniversary of its founding. Founded in 1919, following the end of World War I, the focus of the American Legion has been to secure services and benefits for veterans, the families of service members and the communities where veterans live and work.