TRENTON – On Tuesday, January 19, Governor Christie signed into law legislation co-sponsored by Assembly Democrat Joe Danielsen to allow taxpayers to voluntarily contribute money to help New Jersey military personnel and families in need. Assemblyman Danielsen represents the 17th Legislative District, which includes part of Somerset County.
Assembly members Bob Andrzejczak, Wayne DeAngelo, Vincent Mazzeo and Annette Quijano co-sponsored the bill along with Assemblyman Danielsen.
“The organization to which the donations would benefit are dedicated to serving the military and supporting their families in the time of need,” said Assemblyman Danielsen. “This law will provide an additional funding source for these organizations so they may continue to help those who have selflessly served and sacrificed for our nation.”
Danielsen’s co-sponsors were equally enthusiastic about the new law.
“Far too often the families of the brave men and women sacrificing to defend this country suffer financial and other difficulties because a provider is off on active duty,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland). “This would be a voluntary and simple way to help those families in need. It’s the least we can do to lend a helping hand to those defending our freedom.”
“Our military personnel deserve our best, and this is one way to encourage people to support making that reality,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “Giving people the chance to contribute money to help military families in need is the right thing to do and sends the message that we care and will do what we can to help.”
The new law (A-2943) establishes the ‘New Jersey Yellow Ribbon Fund” and would allow voluntary contributions on gross income tax returns to charitable organizations that support active duty members of the New Jersey National Guard and Reserve and their families.
“Residents would be allowed to contribute as much as they can and annually to the families of deployed National Guard and reserve members,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “This is an effective tool used by many organizations in the state to help raise money for military families.”
“Allowing residents to contribute during tax time will enable organizations to help the hundreds of families of the National Guard,” said Annette Quijano (D-Union). “Many New Jerseyans want to lend a hand to help our military families and this is one way they would be able to do it.”
The fund will provide for support including, but not limited to, defraying the costs of food, housing, medical services, and other expenses to the active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, the reserve components thereof, and the National Guard from New Jersey and their families affected by extended deployment during Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
The measure was approved by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The full Assembly unanimously approved the measure in May.