Bill Text: NJ S1656 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes Veterans Assistance Grant Program for nonprofit organizations to provide certain services to veterans.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2018-12-06 - Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee [S1656 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S1656-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 1656

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 5, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes Veterans Assistance Grant Program for nonprofit organizations to provide certain services to veterans.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act establishing a grant program for nonprofit organizations to provide certain services to veterans and supplementing Title 38A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Veterans Assistance Grant Program Act."

 

     2.    As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Department" means the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs, established pursuant to N.J.S.38A:3-1 et seq.

     "Grant fund" means the "Veterans Assistance Grant Fund," established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     "Grant program" means the "Veterans Assistance Grant Program," established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     "Qualified applicant" means a governmental entity or a nonprofit organization, which provides services to ensure the health and well-being of veterans who live in the State and is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. s.501(c)(3)).

     "Veteran" means a person who has been honorably discharged, or discharged or released under other than dishonorable conditions, from the active military service of the United States, or a reserve component thereof.

 

     3.    a.  The Adjutant General shall establish in the department the "Veterans Assistance Grant Program."  The program shall provide grants to qualified applicants to provide the following services for veterans who currently reside in the State:

     (1)  mental health services;

     (2)  family counseling services;

     (3)  job training and employment services; and

     (4)  housing assistance.

     b.    A qualified applicant seeking to participate in the grant program shall submit an application in such form as shall be required by the department.  An application shall include information that the department shall determine is necessary to administer the grant program.

     c.     The department shall issue payment of the grant amount following the submission of satisfactory proof by a qualified applicant of the planned expenditures for the grant funds.

     d.    In order to receive a grant pursuant to P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a qualified applicant shall enter into a grant agreement with the department.

     e.     The department may, either through the adoption of rules and regulations, or through the provisions of a grant agreement made pursuant to subsection d. of this section, establish terms governing the use of the grant award.

 

     4.    a. To implement the grant program, the department shall establish and maintain a special revolving fund to be known as the "Veterans Assistance Grant Fund."  The department shall administer the grant fund, which shall be credited with:

     (1)   moneys that the Legislature may appropriate;

     (2)   moneys received by the department as gifts, grants, or donations, including grants accepted by the Adjutant General pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1987, c.444 (C.38A:3-6.2);

     (3)   any return on investment of moneys deposited in the grant fund;

     (4)   fees collected, if any, from applicants pursuant to subsection c. of this section; and

     (5)   other moneys made available, including, but not limited to, funds provided by agreement with private investors, the federal government, banks, and other lending institutions to effectuate the purposes of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.    The department may invest moneys in the grant fund, which the department determines not to be needed for current responsibilities of the grant fund, in any direct obligations the department deems appropriate.

     c.     The department may charge fees in connection with applications for participation in the grant program as it deems reasonable.

     d.    The department may claim from the grant fund an amount, which shall not exceed five percent of the moneys annually appropriated by the Legislature, in any fiscal year, to cover administrative expenses.

     e.     The department shall promulgate rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to carry out the purposes of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     5.    One year following the effective date of P.L.  , c.     (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and annually thereafter, the department shall report to the Governor and the Legislature, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), regarding the allocation of the moneys credited to the grant fund pursuant to subsection a. of section 4 of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  The report shall include, but not be limited to, a listing of the qualified applicants selected to participate in the grant program, the services provided to veterans by the qualified applicants receiving grant funding, the importance of the financial incentive in the decision by a qualified applicant to provide particular services to veterans, and the extent to which the homeless veteran population of this State has diminished as a result of the grant program.  The report shall include the opinion of the Adjutant General on the advisability of continuing, expanding, or modifying the grant program.

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill creates the "Veterans Assistance Grant Program" in the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs to provide grants to governmental entities and nonprofit organizations for certain veterans' services.

     This bill requires the department to provide select governmental entities and nonprofit organizations funds to provide mental health services, family counseling services, job training and employment services, and housing assistance services to veterans who live in the State.  The department will manage the grant program and award grants to governmental entities and nonprofit organizations to provide veterans' services based upon application criteria selected by the department.  Any grant made through the grant program will be subject to a grant agreement, which contains terms and conditions considered appropriate by the department and are consistent with the purposes of this bill.

     As part of the program, the department will establish the "Veterans Assistance Grant Fund," which will provide moneys for the grant program.  The grant fund will be populated with: (1) moneys that the Legislature may appropriate; (2) moneys received by the department as gifts, grants, or donations; (3) any return on investment of moneys deposited in the grant fund; (4) fees collected from applicants; and (5) other moneys made available including, but not limited to, funds provided by agreement with private investors, the federal government, banks, and other lending institutions to effectuate the purposes of the bill.

     The bill requires the department to report to the Governor and Legislature on an annual basis concerning the allocation of the moneys credited to the grant fund and the effect grant funding has on the veteran population of the State.  As part of the report, the bill requires the Adjutant General to opine on the advisability of continuing, expanding, or modifying the grant program.

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