A pair of bills from Ocean County/Monmouth County State Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-12), aimed at helping veterans across the state of New Jersey in multiple ways, is taking steps forward towards becoming reality.

The first piece of legislation of note from Assemblyman Dancer is one that would assure that disabled veterans federally discharged student loan debt won't be subject to state income taxes.

The Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee has now moved the 2019 measure forward.

Assemblyman Dancer explains that his bill, (A655), "codifies that New Jersey’s income tax exclusion for canceled debt also applies to a disabled veteran’s federal student loan debt that has been forgiven through the total and permanent disability discharge program."

“Our disabled veterans are paying a lifelong price for their service to the state and our nation,” Dancer said in a statement. “Excluding their federally-forgiven student loan debt from state income taxes is a small gesture compared to the sacrifice they made while in the military.”

In August of 2019, Assemblyman Dancer said then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order for the Department of Education to identify veterans eligible for loan forgiveness through the DOE's total and permanent disability discharge program, for veterans permanently disabled from a service-related condition.

It's designed so that these veterans can have their federal student loan debt wiped clean, and tax-free as well.

“The changes at the federal level by the Trump Administration to expedite the forgiveness process for disabled veterans, along with this legislation at the state level, will ultimately benefit New Jersey veterans who are unfairly carrying burdensome student loan debt,” Dancer said.

While Assemblyman's bill, (A803) gained some traction by passing unanimously in the last session of the Assembly, Dancer said it was never considered by the Senate.

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There is another piece of legislation from Assemblyman Dancer that will help veterans as well.

This one, (A315), "would require professional and occupational boards to issue licenses to honorably discharged Armed Forces members who have out-of-jurisdiction licenses, certificates or certifications," and it was released by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Monday.

“I’m proud to sponsor legislation that eases any burdens on our men and women who served in uniform, including seeking employment after they are discharged,” Dancer said in a statement. “Veterans coming back to, or choosing to settle in, New Jersey should have an easy process to obtain a state license to work in their chosen trade or profession.”

Dancer’s bill would speed up and make easier, the process for veterans.

The professional and occupational boards overseen by the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs, Dancer explains, would have to issue licenses to any veteran who received a license for the same trade or profession and equivalent training, education, or experience during or after their time in the military.

Anyone applying to this program would have to show that they were honorably discharged from the military, out-of-state licenses are in good standing, and in compliance with all other board requirements, Dancer said, and these specific job boards would have to develop methods for determining training, education, or experience equivalency.

“Many licenses are not transferable because each state has its own standards for different professions,” Dancer said. “Veterans who served their country faithfully should not encounter those barriers.”

Honoring our Military and Veterans

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