Acting on his commitment to active servicemembers, veterans, and their families, Governor Chris Christie today signed legislation that allows military spouses who hold a teaching certificate in another state to apply for a temporary teaching certificate in New Jersey. The bill, A-2892, will assist the wives and husbands of active duty servicemembers who have left their jobs in another state due to the military transfer of their spouse to the Garden State. In addition, the Governor announced a series of measures to help New Jersey's servicemembers and veterans find employment opportunities and transition back to civilian life.
"Our servicemembers have performed their duties bravely and selflessly, leaving their families behind and making sacrifices for us here at home," said Governor Christie. "After serving in battle or in support of our military objectives, many return without the support they deserve for rejoining the civilian workforce. This is unacceptable, and we need to do more. This series of measures will help our military families and breadwinners transition back into civilian life and into the New Jersey workforce."
In February, First Lady Michelle Obama asked chief executives throughout the country to take action to remove obstacles that impede veterans and their families from easily re-entering the workforce after leaving the military.
In addition to signing A-2892, Governor Christie is putting forward the following new proposals:
- Assisting Veterans In Becoming Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The Christie Administration is proposing legislation to assist veterans with military training and experience as EMTs in becoming EMT certified in New Jersey.
- Extending The Validity Of Professional Licenses. Current New Jersey law states that a professional or occupational license shall not expire while the licensee is an active member of the Armed Forces of the United States and that the license shall be extended for up to 120 days after his or her return from active service. The Christie Administration is proposing legislation to extend that period from 120 days to one year.
- Making It Easier For Servicemembers and Veterans To Obtain Academic Credit. The Christie Administration is proposing legislation that authorizes and encourages colleges and universities to provide academic credit for military education and training.
- Helping Servicemembers And Veterans Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Christie Administration is proposing legislation to create a PTSD Study Commission to determine how New Jersey can better assist servicemembers and veterans with PTSD.
- Expansion Of The Definition Of "Veteran" Under The Civil Service Act. The Christie Administration is proposing legislation to expand the definition of "veteran" under the Civil Service Act, in order to allow more honorably discharged service members to be eligible for veteran preference when applying for civil service jobs.
Governor Christie also signed Executive Order No. 134, creating the New Jersey Military Installation Growth and Development Task Force. This five-person task force will be responsible for issuing recommendations to preserve, enhance, and strengthen New Jersey's military installations, which contribute billions of dollars to the state economy and provide thousands of jobs for Garden State residents. A copy of the Governor's Executive Order is attached to the release.
Other measures recently signed by Governor Christie to assist servicemembers, veterans, and their families include:
A-2882: Requiring professional boards to provide waivers or exemptions toward their requirements for licensure or certification for training, education, or experience received by an applicant while serving as a member of the Armed Forces.
A-2555: Giving qualified servicemembers and veterans a clear path to obtaining a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), making New Jersey the 35th state to permit a waiver of the CDL skills test for certain applicants with military experience in operating commercial motor vehicles.
A-2889: Allowing qualified military spouses to practice nursing through the issuance of a temporary courtesy license by New Jersey Board of Nursing to lawfully practice nursing in the State on a temporary basis.