SENATE, No. 198

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† CHRISTOPHER J. CONNORS

District 9 (Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Bateman, Singer, Weinberg, Madden, Beach, Sweeney, Vitale, Rice, Doherty, Pennacchio, Cardinale, Pou, Cruz-Perez and Singleton

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Broadens eligibility for certain veterans' benefits by eliminating requirement of service during specified dates or in specified locations.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

††


An Act concerning eligibility for certain veterans' benefits, amending and repealing various parts of the statutory law and supplementing Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes and P.L.1963, c.171 (C.54:4-8.10 et seq.).

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† N.J.S.11A:5-1 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 11A:5-1.†††† As used in this chapter:

†††† a.†††† "Disabled veteran" means any veteran who is eligible to be compensated for a service-connected disability [from war service] by the United States [Veterans Administration] Department of Veteransí Affairs or who receives or is entitled to receive equivalent compensation for a service-connected disability [which arises out of military or naval service as set forth in this chapter] and who has submitted sufficient evidence of the record of disability [incurred in the line of duty] to the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs and received a determination of status no later than eight days prior to the issuance of an employment list, for which that individual received a passing score on an examination;

†††† b.††† "Veteran" means any [honorably discharged soldier, sailor, marine or nurse who served in any army or navy of the allies of the United States in World War I, between July 14, 1914 and November 11, 1918, or who served in any army or navy of the allies of the United States in World War II, between September 1, 1939 and September 2, 1945 and who was inducted into that service through voluntary enlistment, and was a citizen of the United States at the time of the enlistment, and who did not renounce or lose his or her United States citizenship; or any soldier, sailor, marine, airman, nurse or army field clerk, who has served in the active military or naval service of the United States] person who (1) served at least 90 days of active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, excluding any period of service for basic training or as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, or (2) served as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States for an entire period for which called to federal active service, not including active duty for training, and has been discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable [conditions from that service in any of the following wars or conflicts] and who has presented to the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs sufficient evidence of the record of service and received a determination of status no later than eight days prior to the issuance of an employment list, for which that individual received a passing score on an examination[:

†††† (1)†† World War I, between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918;

†††† (2)†† World War II, on or after September 16, 1940, who shall have served at least 90 days beginning on or before December 31, 1946 in such active service, exclusive of any period of assignment for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program, which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies; except that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 90-day service;

†††† (3)†† Korean conflict, on or after June 23, 1950, who shall have served at least 90 days beginning on or before January 31, 1955, in active service, exclusive of any period of assignment for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program, which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies; except that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran, whether or not that person has completed the 90-day service;

†††† (4)†† Lebanon crisis, on or after July 1, 1958, who has served in Lebanon or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before November 1, 1958 or the date of termination of that conflict, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (5)†† Vietnam conflict, on or after December 31, 1960, who shall have served at least 90 days beginning on or before May 7, 1975, in active service, exclusive of any period of assignment for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program, which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, and exclusive of any service performed pursuant to the provisions of section 511(d) of Title 10, United States Code, or exclusive of any service performed pursuant to enlistment in the National Guard or the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve; except that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran, whether or not that person has completed the 90-day service as provided;

†††† (6)†† Lebanon peacekeeping mission, on or after September 26, 1982, who has served in Lebanon or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before December 1, 1987 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (7)†† Grenada peacekeeping mission, on or after October 23, 1983, who has served in Grenada or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before November 21, 1983 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (8)†† Panama peacekeeping mission, on or after December 20, 1989 or the date of inception of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of inception is earliest, who has served in Panama or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before January 31, 1990 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (9)†† Operation "Desert Shield/Desert Storm" mission in the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf, on or after August 2, 1990 or the date of inception of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of inception is earliest, who has served in the Arabian peninsula or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the Persian Gulf for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (10)††† Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch, on or after August 27, 1992, or the date of inception of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States, Congress or United States Secretary of Defense, whichever date of inception is earliest, who served in the theater of operation, including in the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf, and in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date of termination of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States, Congress or United States Secretary of Defense, whichever date of termination is the latest; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (11)††† Operation "Restore Hope" in Somalia, on or after December 5, 1992, or the date of inception of that operation as proclaimed by the President of the United States or the Congress, whichever date is earliest, who has served in Somalia or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before March 31, 1994; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14-day service as herein provided;

†††† (12)††† Operations "Joint Endeavor" and "Joint Guard" in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on or after November 20, 1995, who served in such active service in direct support of one or both of the operations for at least 14 days, continuously or in the aggregate, commencing on or before June 20, 1998, and (1) was deployed in that nation or in another area in the region, or (2) was on board a United States naval vessel operating in the Adriatic Sea, or (3) operated in airspace above the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person completed the 14-day service requirement;

†††† (13)††† Operation "Uphold Democracy" in Haiti, on or after September 19, 1994, who served in Haiti or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before March 31, 1995, and who received an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for such service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided or received an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal;

†††† (14)††† Operation "Enduring Freedom", on or after September 11, 2001, who served in a theater of operation and in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the termination date of that operation; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided; and

†††† (15)††† Operation "Iraqi Freedom", on or after the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the inception date of that operation, who served in Iraq or in another area in the region in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the termination date of that operation; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† c.†††† "War service" means service by a veteran in any war or conflict described in this chapter during the periods specified].

†††† A person who served fewer than 90 days of active service or who served less than the entire period to which called to federal active service shall be classed as a veteran if that person has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable as a result of a service-connected disability incurred as a result of such service.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.115, s.1)

 

†††† 2.††† N.J.S.11A:5-3 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 11A:5-3.†††† Parent and spouse of veteran who has died in service. A parent and spouse of any veteran who died while in, and as a result of, federal active service and who would have qualified under this chapter as a veteran, shall be entitled to a disabled veterans' preference.† Where both a parent and spouse survive, the exercise of the preference by one shall suspend the right of any other so long as the first individual who exercises preference remains in the employ of the State or any political subdivision operating under the provisions of this title.

(cf: N.J.S.11A:5-3)

†††† 3.††† N.J.S.11A:5-11 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 11A:5-11.†† Veterans not to be discriminated against because of physical defects. Veterans suffering from any physical defect caused by [wounds or injuries received in the line of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States during war service set forth in N.J.S.11A:5-1] an injury, disease or disability incurred as a result of active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof, shall not be discriminated against in an examination, classification or appointment because of the defect, unless this defect, in the opinion of the board, would incapacitate the veteran from properly performing the duties of the office, position or employment for which applied.

(cf: N.J.S.11A:5-11)

 

†††† 4.††† N.J.S.18A:66-2 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 18A:66-2.†† As used in this article:

†††† a.†††† "Accumulated deductions" means the sum of all the amounts, deducted from the compensation of a member or contributed by or in behalf of the member, including interest credited to January 1, 1956, standing to the credit of the member's individual account in the annuity savings fund.

†††† b.††† "Annuity" means payments for life derived from the accumulated deductions of a member as provided in this article.

†††† c.†††† "Beneficiary" means any person receiving a retirement allowance or other benefit as provided in this article.

†††† d.††† (1) "Compensation" means the contractual salary, for services as a teacher as defined in this article, which is in accordance with established salary policies of the member's employer for all employees in the same position but shall not include individual salary adjustments which are granted primarily in anticipation of the member's retirement or additional remuneration for performing temporary or extracurricular duties beyond the regular school day or the regular school year.

†††† (2)†† In the case of a person who becomes a member of the retirement system on or after July 1, 2007, "compensation" means the amount of the contractual salary equivalent to the annual maximum wage contribution base for Social Security, pursuant to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, for services as a teacher as defined in this article, which is in accordance with established salary policies of the member's employer for all employees in the same position but shall not include individual salary adjustments which are granted primarily in anticipation of the member's retirement or additional remuneration for performing temporary or extracurricular duties beyond the regular school day or the regular school year. This paragraph shall not apply to a person who at the time of enrollment in the retirement system on or after July 1, 2007 transfers service credit from another State-administered retirement system pursuant to N.J.S.18A:66-15.1, but shall apply to a former member of the retirement system who has been granted a retirement allowance and is reenrolled in the retirement system on or after July 1, 2007 pursuant to N.J.S.18A:66-53.2 after becoming employed again in a position that makes the person eligible to be a member of the retirement system.

†††† e.†††† "Employer" means the State, the board of education or any educational institution or agency of or within the State by which a teacher is paid.

†††† f.†††† "Final compensation" means the average annual compensation for which contributions are made for the three years of creditable service in New Jersey immediately preceding the member's retirement or death, or it shall mean the average annual compensation for New Jersey service for which contributions are made during any three fiscal years of his or her membership providing the largest possible benefit to the member or the member's beneficiary.

†††† g.††† "Fiscal year" means any year commencing with July 1, and ending with June 30, next following.

†††† h.††† "Pension" means payments for life derived from appropriations made by the State or employers to the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund.

†††† i.†††† "Annuity reserve" means the present value of all payments to be made on account of any annuity or benefit in lieu of an annuity, granted under the provisions of this article, computed on the basis of such mortality tables recommended by the actuary as the board of trustees adopts, with regular interest.

†††† j.†††† "Pension reserve" means the present value of all payments to be made on account of any pension or benefit in lieu of a pension granted to a member from the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund, computed on the basis of such mortality tables recommended by the actuary as the board of trustees adopts, with regular interest.

†††† k.††† "Present-entrant" means any member of the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund who had established status as a "present-entrant member" of said fund prior to January 1, 1956.

†††† l.†††† "Rate of contribution initially certified" means the rate of contribution certified by the retirement system in accordance with N.J.S.18A:66-29.

†††† m.†† "Regular interest" shall mean interest as determined by the State Treasurer, after consultation with the Directors of the Divisions of Investment and Pensions, the board of trustees and the actuary. It shall bear a reasonable relationship to the percentage rate of earnings on investments based on the market value of assets but shall not exceed the assumed percentage rate of increase applied to salaries plus 3%, provided however that the board of trustees shall not set the average percentage rate of increase applied to salaries below 6%.

†††† n.††† "Retirement allowance" means the pension plus the annuity.

†††† o.††† "School service" means any service as a "teacher" as defined in this section.

†††† p.††† "Teacher" means any regular teacher, special teacher, helping teacher, teacher clerk, principal, vice-principal, supervisor, supervising principal, director, superintendent, city superintendent, assistant city superintendent, county superintendent, State Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner of Education, members of the State Department of Education who are certificated, unclassified professional staff and other members of the teaching or professional staff of any class, public school, high school, normal school, model school, training school, vocational school, truant reformatory school, or parental school, and of any and all classes or schools within the State conducted under the order and superintendence, and wholly or partly at the expense of the State Board of Education, of a duly elected or appointed board of education, board of school directors, or board of trustees of the State or of any school district or normal school district thereof, and any persons under contract or engagement to perform one or more of these functions. It shall also mean any person who serves, while on an approved leave of absence from regular duties as a teacher, as an officer of a local, county or State labor organization which represents, or is affiliated with an organization which represents, teachers as defined in this subsection. No person shall be deemed a teacher within the meaning of this article who is a substitute teacher. In all cases of doubt the board of trustees shall determine whether any person is a teacher as defined in this article.

†††† q.††† "Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund," hereinafter referred to as the "retirement system" or "system," is the corporate name of the arrangement for the payment of retirement allowances and other benefits under the provisions of this article, including the several funds placed under said system. By that name all its business shall be transacted, its funds invested, warrants for money drawn, and payments made and all of its cash and securities and other property held.

†††† r.†††† "Veteran" means any [honorably discharged officer, soldier, sailor, airman, marine or nurse who served in any Army, Air Force or Navy of the Allies of the United States in World War I between July 14, 1914, and November 11, 1918, or who served in any Army, Air Force or Navy of the Allies of the United States in World War II, between September 1, 1939, and September 2, 1945, and who was inducted into such service through voluntary enlistment, and was a citizen of the United States at the time of such enlistment, and who did not, during or by reason of such service, renounce or lose United States citizenship, and any officer, soldier, sailor, marine, airman, nurse or army field clerk who has served in the active military or naval service of the United States] person who (1) served at least 90 days of active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, excluding any period of service for basic training or as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, or (2) served as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States for an entire period for which called to federal active service, not including active duty for training, and has [or shall be] been discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable[, in any of the following wars, uprisings, insurrections, expeditions or emergencies,] and who has presented to the [retirement system] Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs evidence of such record of service in form and content satisfactory to [said retirement system:

†††† (1)†† The Indian wars and uprisings during any of the periods recognized by the War Department of the United States as periods of active hostility;

†††† (2)†† The Spanish-American War between April 20, 1898, and April 11, 1899;

†††† (3)†† The Philippine insurrections and expeditions during the periods recognized by the War Department of the United States as of active hostility from February 4, 1899, to the end of 1913;

†††† (4)†† The Peking relief expedition between June 20, 1900, and May 27, 1902;

†††† (5)†† The army of Cuban occupation between July 18, 1898, and May 20, 1902;

†††† (6)†† The army of Cuban pacification between October 6, 1906, and April 1, 1909;

†††† (7)†† The Mexican punitive expedition between March 14, 1916, and February 7, 1917;

†††† (8)†† The Mexican border patrol, having actually participated in engagements against Mexicans between April 12, 1911, and June 16, 1919;

†††† (9)†† World War I, between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918;

†† (10)† World War II, between September 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946, who shall have served at least 90 days in such active service, exclusive of any period of assignment (1) for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program, which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or (2) as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, any part of which 90 days was served between said dates; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran, whether or not that person has completed the 90-day service as herein provided;

†† (11)† Korean conflict on or after June 23, 1950, and on or prior to January 31, 1955, who shall have served at least 90 days in such active service, exclusive of any period of assignment (1) for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program, which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or (2) as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, any part of which 90 days was served between said dates; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran, whether or not that person has completed the 90-day service as herein provided; and provided further that any member classed as a veteran pursuant to this subsection prior to August 1, 1966, shall continue to be classed as a veteran, whether or not that person completed the 90-day service between said dates as herein provided;

†† (12)† Lebanon crisis, on or after July 1, 1958, who has served in Lebanon or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before November 1, 1958 or the date of termination of that conflict, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†† (13)† Vietnam conflict, on or after December 31, 1960, and on or prior to May 7, 1975, who shall have served at least 90 days in such active service, exclusive of any period of assignment (1) for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program, which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or (2) as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, any part of which 90 days was served between said dates; and exclusive of any service performed pursuant to the provisions of section 511(d) of Title 10, United States Code, pursuant to an enlistment in the Army National Guard or as a reserve for service in the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran, whether or not that person has completed the 90-day service as herein provided;

†† (14)† Lebanon peacekeeping mission, on or after September 26, 1982, who has served in Lebanon or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before December 1, 1987 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†† (15)† Grenada peacekeeping mission, on or after October 23, 1983, who has served in Grenada or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before November 21, 1983 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†† (16)† Panama peacekeeping mission, on or after December 20, 1989 or the date of inception of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of inception is earliest, who has served in Panama or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before January 31, 1990 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†† (17)† Operation "Desert Shield/Desert Storm" mission in the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf, on or after August 2, 1990 or the date of inception of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of inception is earliest, who has served in the Arabian peninsula or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the Persian Gulf for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†† (18)† Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch, on or after August 27, 1992, or the date of inception of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States, Congress or United States Secretary of Defense, whichever date of inception is earliest, who served in the theater of operation, including in the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf, and in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service, commencing on or before the date of termination of the operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States, Congress or United States Secretary of Defense, whichever date of termination is latest; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†† (19)† Operation "Restore Hope" in Somalia, on or after December 5, 1992, or the date of inception of that operation as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date is earliest, who has served in Somalia or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before March 31, 1994; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14-day service as herein provided;

†††(20)† Operations "Joint Endeavor" and "Joint Guard" in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on or after November 20, 1995, who served in such active service in direct support of one or both of the operations for at least 14 days, continuously or in the aggregate, commencing on or before June 20, 1998, and (1) was deployed in that nation or in another area in the region, or (2) was on board a United States naval vessel operating in the Adriatic Sea, or (3) operated in airspace above the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person completed the 14-day service requirement;

† †(21)† Operation "Enduring Freedom", on or after September 11, 2001, who served in a theater of operation and in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the termination date of that operation; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided; and

† †(22)† Operation "Iraqi Freedom", on or after the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the inception date of that operation, who served in Iraq or in another area in the region in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the termination date of that operation; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided] the Adjutant General.

†††† A person who served fewer than 90 days of active service or who served less than the entire period to which called to active service shall be classed as a veteran if that person has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable as a result of a service-connected disability incurred as a result of such service.

†††† "Veteran" also means any honorably discharged member of the American Merchant Marine who served during World War II and is declared by the United States Department of Defense to be eligible for federal veterans' benefits.

†††† s.†††† "Child" means a deceased member's unmarried child either (a) under the age of 18 or (b) of any age who, at the time of the member's death, is disabled because of mental retardation or physical incapacity, is unable to do any substantial, gainful work because of the impairment and the impairment has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, as affirmed by the medical board.

†††† t.†††† (1)† "Widower," for employees of the State, means the man to whom a member was married, or a domestic partner as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-3), at least five years before the date of her death and to whom she continued to be married or a domestic partner until the date of her death and who was receiving at least one-half of his support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a widower will be considered terminated by marriage of, or establishment of a domestic partnership by, the widower subsequent to the death of the member. In the event of the payment of an accidental death benefit, the five-year qualification shall be waived.

†††† (2)†† Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection, "widower," for employees of public employers other than the State, means the man to whom a member was married at least five years before the date of her death and to whom she continued to be married until the date of her death and who was receiving at least one-half of his support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a widower shall be considered terminated by marriage of the widower subsequent to the death of the member. In the event of the payment of an accidental death benefit, the five-year qualification shall be waived.

†††† (3)†† A public employer other than the State may adopt a resolution providing that the term "widower" as defined in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall include domestic partners as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

†††† †u.†† (1)† "Widow," for employees of the State, means the woman to whom a member was married, or a domestic partner as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-3), at least five years before the date of his death and to whom he continued to be married or a domestic partner until the date of his death and who was receiving at least one-half of her support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a widow will be considered terminated by the marriage of, or establishment of a domestic partnership by, the widow subsequent to the member's death. In the event of the payment of an accidental death benefit, the five-year qualification shall be waived.

†††† (2)†† Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection, "widow," for employees of public employers other than the State, means the woman to whom a member was married at least five years before the date of his death and to whom he continued to be married until the date of his death and who was receiving at least one-half of her support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a widow shall be considered terminated by the marriage of the widow subsequent to the member's death. In the event of the payment of an accidental death benefit, the five-year qualification shall be waived.

†††† (3)†† A public employer other than the State may adopt a resolution providing that the term "widower" as defined in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall include domestic partners as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

†††† †v.†† "Parent" means the parent of a member who was receiving at least one-half of the parent's support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a parent will be considered terminated by marriage of the parent subsequent to the death of the member.

†††† †w.† "Medical board" means the board of physicians provided for in N.J.S.18A:66-56.

†††† †x.†† (1)† "Spouse," for employees of the State, means the husband or wife, or domestic partner as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-3), of a member.

†††† (2)†† Subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, "spouse," for employees of public employers other than the State, means the husband or wife of a member.

†††† (3)†† A public employer other than the State may adopt a resolution providing that the term "spouse" as defined in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall include domestic partners as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.103, s.9)

†††† 5.††† N.J.S.18A:66-13 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 18A:66-13.††† Prior service credit.† A member may file a detailed statement of: a. school service and service in a similar capacity in other states and in schools within and outside the United States operated by a department of the United States Government for the instruction of the children of United States Government officers and employees, or b. other public employment in other states or with the United States Government which would be eligible for credit in a State-administered retirement system if the employment was with a public employer in this State, or c. [military service] active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or in a reserve component thereof, rendered prior to becoming a member, for which the member desires credit, and of such other facts as the retirement system may require.† The member may purchase credit for all or a portion of the service evidenced in the statement up to the nearest number of years and months, but not exceeding 10 years, provided however, that a member purchasing that maximum credit may purchase up to five additional years [for additional military] of active service [qualifying the member as a veteran as defined in N.J.S.18A:66-2] in the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof.

†††† No application shall be accepted for the purchase of credit for [such]: (1) a period of service if, at the time of application, the member has a vested right to retirement benefits in another retirement system based in whole or in part upon that service; or (2) a period of active service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States that is concurrent with other service described in subsections a. and b. of this section.

†††† The member may purchase credit for the service by paying into the annuity savings fund the amount required by applying the factor, supplied by the actuary as being applicable to the member's age at the time of the purchase, to the member's salary at that time, or to the highest annual compensation for service in this State for which contributions were made during any prior fiscal year of membership, whichever is greater.† The purchase may be made in regular installments, equal to at least one-half the full normal contribution to the retirement system, over a maximum period of 10 years.† Neither the State nor the employer of a member who applies to purchase credit for public employment with the United States Government pursuant to subsection b. of this section or for military service pursuant to subsection c. of this section shall be liable for any payment to the retirement system on behalf of the member for the purchase of this credit.

†††† Notwithstanding any provision of this act to the contrary, a member shall not be liable for any costs associated with the financing of pension adjustment benefits and health care benefits for retirees when purchasing credit for school service, public employment in other states or with the United States Government, or [military] active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof.

†††† Any member electing to purchase the service who retires prior to completing payments as agreed with the retirement system will receive pro rata credit for service purchased prior to the date of retirement, but if the member so elects at the time of retirement, the member may make the additional lump sum payment required at that time to provide full credit.

(cf: P.L.1991, c.153, s.1)

 

†††† 6.††† Section 6 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-6) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 6.††† As used in this act:

†††† a.†††† "Accumulated deductions" means the sum of all the amounts, deducted from the compensation of a member or contributed by or on behalf of the member, standing to the credit of the member's individual account in the annuity savings fund.

†††† b.††† "Annuity" means payments for life derived from the accumulated deductions of a member as provided in this act.

†††† c.†††† "Annuity reserve" means the present value of all payments to be made on account of any annuity or benefit in lieu of an annuity, granted under the provisions of this act, computed on the basis of such mortality tables recommended by the actuary as the board of trustees adopts, with regular interest.

†††† d.††† "Beneficiary" means any person receiving a retirement allowance or other benefit as provided in this act.

†††† e.†††† "Child" means a deceased member's unmarried child either (1) under the age of 18 or (2) of any age who, at the time of the member's death, is disabled because of mental retardation or physical incapacity, is unable to do any substantial, gainful work because of the impairment and the impairment has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, as affirmed by the medical board.

†††† f.†††† "Parent" shall mean the parent of a member who was receiving at least 1/2 of the parent's support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a parent will be considered terminated by marriage of the parent subsequent to the death of the member.

†††† g.††† (1) †"Widower," for employees of the State, means the man to whom a member was married, or a domestic partner as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-3), at least five years before the date of her death and to whom she continued to be married or a domestic partner until the date of her death and who was receiving at least 1/2 of his support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a widower will be considered terminated by marriage of, or establishment of a domestic partnership by, the widower subsequent to the death of the member. In the event of the payment of an accidental death benefit, the five-year qualification shall be waived.

†††† (2)†† Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection, "widower," for employees of public employers other than the State, means the man to whom a member was married at least five years before the date of her death and to whom she continued to be married until the date of her death and who was receiving at least 1/2 of his support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a widower shall be considered terminated by marriage of the widower subsequent to the death of the member. In the event of the payment of an accidental death benefit, the five-year qualification shall be waived.

†††† (3)†† A public employer other than the State may adopt a resolution providing that the term "widower" as defined in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall include domestic partners as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

†††† †h.†† "Final compensation" means the average annual compensation for which contributions are made for the three years of creditable service in New Jersey immediately preceding the member's retirement or death, or it shall mean the average annual compensation for New Jersey service for which contributions are made during any three fiscal years of his or her membership providing the largest possible benefit to the member or the member's beneficiary.

†††† †i.††† "Fiscal year" means any year commencing with July 1 and ending with June 30 next following.

†††† †j.††† "Medical board" shall mean the board of physicians provided for in section 17 (C.43:15A-17).

†††† †k.†† "Pension" means payments for life derived from appropriations made by the employer as provided in this act.

†††† †l.††† "Pension reserve" means the present value of all payments to be made on account of any pension or benefit in lieu of a pension granted under the provisions of this act, computed on the basis of such mortality tables recommended by the actuary as the board of trustees adopts, with regular interest.

†††† †m.† "Public Employees' Retirement System of New Jersey," hereinafter referred to as the "retirement system" or "system," is the corporate name of the arrangement for the payment of retirement allowances and other benefits under the provisions of this act including the several funds placed under said system. By that name all of its business shall be transacted, its funds invested, warrants for money drawn, and payments made and all of its cash and securities and other property held.

†††† n.††† "Regular interest" shall mean interest as determined by the State Treasurer, after consultation with the Directors of the Divisions of Investment and Pensions, the board of trustees and the actuary. It shall bear a reasonable relationship to the percentage rate of earnings on investments based on the market value of the assets but shall not exceed the assumed percentage rate of increase applied to salaries plus 3%, provided however that the board of trustees shall not set the average percentage rate of increase applied to salaries below 6%.

†††† o.††† "Retirement allowance" means the pension plus the annuity.

†††† p.††† "Veteran" means any [honorably discharged officer, soldier, sailor, airman, marine or nurse who served in any Army, Air Force or Navy of the Allies of the United States in World War I, between July 14, 1914, and November 11, 1918, or who served in any Army, Air Force or Navy of the Allies of the United States in World War II, between September 1, 1939, and September 2, 1945, and who was inducted into such service through voluntary enlistment, and was a citizen of the United States at the time of such enlistment, and who did not, during or by reason of such service, renounce or lose United States citizenship, and any officer, soldier, sailor, marine, airman, nurse or army field clerk, who has served in the active military or naval service of the United States] person who (1) served at least 90 days of active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, excluding any period of service for basic training or as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, or (2) served as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States for an entire period for which called to federal active service, not including active duty for training, and has [or shall be] been discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable[, in any of the following wars, uprisings, insurrections, expeditions, or emergencies,] and who has presented to the [retirement system] Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veteransí Affairs evidence of such record of service in form and content satisfactory to [said retirement system:

†††† (1)†† The Indian wars and uprisings during any of the periods recognized by the War Department of the United States as periods of active hostility;

†††† (2)†† The Spanish-American War between April 20, 1898, and April 11, 1899;

†††† (3)†† The Philippine insurrections and expeditions during the periods recognized by the War Department of the United States as of active hostility from February 4, 1899, to the end of 1913;

†††† (4)†† The Peking relief expedition between June 20, 1900, and May 27, 1902;

†††† (5)†† The army of Cuban occupation between July 18, 1898, and May 20, 1902;

†††† (6)†† The army of Cuban pacification between October 6, 1906, and April 1, 1909;

†††† (7)†† The Mexican punitive expedition between March 14, 1916, and February 7, 1917;

†††† (8)†† The Mexican border patrol, having actually participated in engagements against Mexicans between April 12, 1911, and June 16, 1919;

†††† (9)†† World War I, between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918;

†††† (10)† World War II, between September 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946, who shall have served at least 90 days in such active service, exclusive of any period of assignment (1) for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or (2) as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies any part of which 90 days was served between said dates; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 90-day service as herein provided;

†††† (11)† Korean conflict on or after June 23, 1950, and on or prior to January 31, 1955, who shall have served at least 90 days in such active service, exclusive of any period of assignment (1) for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or (2) as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, any part of which 90 days was served between said dates; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 90-day service as herein provided; and provided further, that any member classed as a veteran pursuant to this paragraph prior to August 1, 1966, shall continue to be classed as a veteran whether or not that person completed the 90-day service between said dates as herein provided;

†††† (12) †Lebanon crisis, on or after July 1, 1958, who has served in Lebanon or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before November 1, 1958 or the date of termination of that conflict, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (13) †Vietnam conflict on or after December 31, 1960, and on or prior to May 7, 1975, who shall have served at least 90 days in such active service, exclusive of any period of assignment (1) for a course of education or training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program which course was a continuation of a civilian course and was pursued to completion, or (2) as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, any part of which 90 days was served between said dates; and exclusive of any service performed pursuant to the provisions of section 511(d) of Title 10, United States Code, pursuant to an enlistment in the Army National Guard or as a reserve for service in the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 90 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (14) †Lebanon peacekeeping mission, on or after September 26, 1982, who has served in Lebanon or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before December 1, 1987 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (15) †Grenada peacekeeping mission, on or after October 23, 1983, who has served in Grenada or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before November 21, 1983 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (16) †Panama peacekeeping mission, on or after December 20, 1989 or the date of inception of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of inception is earliest, who has served in Panama or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before January 31, 1990 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (17)††† Operation "Desert Shield/Desert Storm" mission in the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf, on or after August 2, 1990 or the date of inception of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of inception is earliest, who has served in the Arabian peninsula or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the Persian Gulf for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (18)††† Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch, on or after August 27, 1992, or the date of inception of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States, Congress or United States Secretary of Defense, whichever date of inception is earliest, who served in the theater of operation, including in the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf, and in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service, commencing on or before the date of termination of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States, Congress or United States Secretary of Defense, whichever date of termination is the latest; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† (19)††† Operation "Restore Hope" in Somalia, on or after December 5, 1992, or the date of inception of that operation as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date is earliest, who has served in Somalia or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before March 31, 1994; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14-day service as herein provided;

†††† (20)††† Operations "Joint Endeavor" and "Joint Guard" in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on or after November 20, 1995, who served in such active service in direct support of one or both of the operations for at least 14 days, continuously or in the aggregate, commencing on or before June 20, 1998 and (1) was deployed in that nation or in another area in the region, or (2) was on board a United States naval vessel operating in the Adriatic Sea, or (3) operated in airspace above the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person completed the 14-day service requirement;

†††† (21)††† Operation "Enduring Freedom", on or after September 11, 2001, who served in a theater of operation and in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the termination date of that operation; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided; and

†††† (22)††† Operation "Iraqi Freedom", on or after the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the inception date of that operation, who served in Iraq or in another area in the region in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the termination date of that operation; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided] the Adjutant General.

†††† A person who served fewer than 90 days of active service or who served less than the entire period to which called to active service shall be classed as a veteran if that person has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable as a result of a service-connected disability incurred as a result of such service.

†††† "Veteran" also means any honorably discharged member of the American Merchant Marine who served during World War II and is declared by the United States Department of Defense to be eligible for federal veterans' benefits.

†††† q.††† (1) †"Widow," for employees of the State, means the woman to whom a member was married, or a domestic partner as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-3), at least five years before the date of his death and to whom he continued to be married or a domestic partner until the date of his death and who was receiving at least 1/2 of her support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a widow will be considered terminated by the marriage of, or establishment of a domestic partnership by, the widow subsequent to the member's death. In the event of the payment of an accidental death benefit, the five-year qualification shall be waived.

†††† (2)†† Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection, "widow," for employees of public employers other than the State, means the woman to whom a member was married at least five years before the date of his death and to whom he continued to be married until the date of his death and who was receiving at least 1/2 of her support from the member in the 12-month period immediately preceding the member's death or the accident which was the direct cause of the member's death. The dependency of such a widow shall be considered terminated by the marriage of the widow subsequent to the member's death. In the event of the payment of an accidental death benefit, the five-year qualification shall be waived.

†††† (3)†† A public employer other than the State may adopt a resolution providing that the term "widow" as defined in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall include domestic partners as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

†††† r.†††† (1) †"Compensation" means the base or contractual salary, for services as an employee, which is in accordance with established salary policies of the member's employer for all employees in the same position but shall not include individual salary adjustments which are granted primarily in anticipation of the member's retirement or additional remuneration for performing temporary or extracurricular duties beyond the regular workday or the regular work year.

†††† (2)†† In the case of a person who becomes a member of the retirement system on or after July 1, 2007, "compensation" means the amount of base or contractual salary equivalent to the annual maximum wage contribution base for Social Security, pursuant to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, for services as an employee, which is in accordance with established salary policies of the member's employer for all employees in the same position but shall not include individual salary adjustments which are granted primarily in anticipation of the member's retirement or additional remuneration for performing temporary or extracurricular duties beyond the regular workday or the regular work year. This paragraph shall not apply to a person who at the time of enrollment in the retirement system on or after July 1, 2007 transfers service credit from another State-administered retirement system pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-14), but shall apply to a former member of the retirement system who has been granted a retirement allowance and is reenrolled in the retirement system on or after July 1, 2007 pursuant to section 27 of P.L.1966, c.217 (C.43:15A-57.2) after becoming employed again in a position that makes the person eligible to be a member of the retirement system.

†††† In cases where salary includes maintenance, the retirement system shall fix the value of that part of the salary not paid in money which shall be considered under this act.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.103, s.10)

 

†††† 7.††† Section 4 of P.L.2001, c.127 (C.43:15A-24a) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 4.††† The State shall be liable for any increased cost to local government employers participating in the [Public Employees' Retirement System, established pursuant to P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-1 et seq.),] retirement system as a result of the provisions of [this act, P.L.2001, c.127] P.L.††† , c.    (now before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf:† P.L.2001, c.127, s.4)

 

†††† 8.††† Section 2 of P.L.1963, c.19 (C.43:15A-73.1) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2.††† A member may file a detailed statement of public employment in other states or with the United States Government which would be eligible for credit in a State-administered retirement system if the employment was with a public employer in this State, or of [military service] active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or in a reserve component thereof, or of service resulting from initial appointment or employment on or after January 1, 2002 with a bi-state or multi-state agency established pursuant to an interstate compact to which the State is a party which would be eligible for credit in a State-administered retirement system if the employment was with a public employer in this State, rendered prior to becoming a member, for which the member desires credit, and of such other facts as the retirement system may require.† The member may purchase credit for all or a portion of the service evidenced in the statement up to the nearest number of years and months, but not exceeding 10 years, provided however, that a member purchasing that maximum credit may purchase up to five additional years [for additional military] of active service [qualifying the member as a veteran as defined in section 6 of P.L.1954, c.84, (C.43:15A-6)] in the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof.

†††† No application shall be accepted for the purchase of credit for [the] : (1)† a period of service if, at the time of application, the member has a vested right to retirement benefits in another retirement system based in whole or in part upon that service ; or (2) a period of active service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States that is concurrent with other service described in the preceding paragraph.

†††† The member may purchase credit for the service by paying into the annuity savings fund the amount required by applying the factor, supplied by the actuary as being applicable to the member's age at the time of the purchase, to the member's salary at that time, or to the highest annual compensation for service in this State for which contributions were made during any prior fiscal year of membership, whichever is greater.† The purchase may be made in regular installments, equal to at least 1/2 of the full normal contribution to the retirement system, over a maximum period of 10 years.† The employer of a member who applies, pursuant to this section, to purchase credit for public employment with the United States Government or for military service in the Armed Forces of the United States shall not be liable for any payment to the retirement system on behalf of the member for the purchase of this credit.

†††† Notwithstanding any provision of this act to the contrary, a member shall not be liable for any costs associated with the financing of pension adjustment benefits and health care benefits for retirees when purchasing credit for public employment in other states or with the United States Government or [military] active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or with a bi-state or multi-state agency.

†††† Any member electing to make a purchase pursuant to this section who retires prior to completing payments as agreed with the retirement system will receive pro rata credit for the purchase prior to the date of retirement, but if the member so elects at the time of retirement, the member may make the additional lump sum payment required at that time to provide full credit.

(cf: P.L.2003, c.263, s.2)

 

†††† 9.††† Section 3 of P.L.1991, c.153 (C.43:16A-11.11) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 3.††† A member of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System may file a detailed statement of public employment in other states or with the United States Government which would be eligible for credit in a State-administered retirement system if the employment was with a public employer in this State, or of [military service] active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or in a reserve component thereof, rendered prior to becoming a member, for which the member desires credit, and of such other facts as the retirement system may require.† The member may purchase credit for all or a portion of the service evidenced in the statement up to the nearest number of years and months, but not exceeding 10 years, provided however, that a member purchasing that maximum credit may purchase up to five additional years [for additional military] of active service [qualifying the member as a veteran as defined in section 1 of P.L.1983, c.391 (C.43:16A-11.7)] in the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof.

†††† No application shall be accepted for the purchase of credit for [the]:† (1)† a period of service if, at the time of application, the member has a vested right to retirement benefits in another retirement system based in whole or in part upon that service; or (2) a period of active service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States that is concurrent with other service described in the preceding paragraph.

†††† The member may purchase credit for the service by paying into the annuity savings fund the amount required by applying the factor, supplied by the actuary as being applicable to the member's age at the time of the purchase, to the member's salary at that time, or to the highest annual compensation for service in this State for which contributions were made during any prior fiscal year of membership, whichever is greater.† The purchase may be made in regular installments equal to at least 1/2 of the full normal contribution to the retirement system, over a maximum period of 10 years.† The employer of a member who applies, pursuant to this section, to purchase credit for public employment with the United States Government or for military service in the Armed Forces of the United States shall not be liable for any payment to the retirement system on behalf of the member for the purchase of this credit.

†††† Notwithstanding any provision of this act to the contrary, a member shall not be liable for any costs associated with the financing of pension adjustment benefits and health care benefits for retirees when purchasing credit for public employment in other states or with the United States Government or [military] active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof.

†††† Any member electing to purchase the service who retires prior to completing payments as agreed with the retirement system will receive pro rata credit for service purchased prior to the date of retirement, but if the member so elects at the time of retirement, the member may make the additional lump sum payment required at that time to provide full credit.

(cf: P.L.1991, c.153, s.3)

 

†††† 10.† Section 1 of P.L.1948, c.259 (C.54:4-3.30) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 1.††† a.† The dwelling house and the lot or curtilage whereon the same is erected, of any [citizen and] resident of this State, [now or hereafter] honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances [,] from [active service, in time of war, in any branch of] the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof, who has been [or shall be] declared by the United States [Veterans Administration] Department of Veterans' Affairs or its successor to have a service-connected [disability from paraplegia, sarcoidosis, osteochondritis resulting in permanent loss of the use of both legs, or permanent paralysis of both legs and lower parts of the body, or from hemiplegia and has permanent paralysis of one leg and one arm or either side of the body, resulting from injury to the spinal cord, skeletal structure, or brain or from disease of the spinal cord not resulting from any form of syphilis; or from total blindness; or from amputation of both arms or both legs, or both hands or both feet, or the combination of a hand and a foot; or from other service-connected disability declared by the United States Veterans Administration or its successor to be a total or] 100% total and permanent disability [, and not so evaluated solely because of hospitalization or surgery and recuperation, sustained through enemy action, or accident, or resulting from disease contracted while in such active service,] shall be exempt from taxation, on proper claim made therefor [, and such].

†††† An exemption under this act, P.L.1948, c.259 (C.54:4-3.30 et seq.), shall be in addition to any other exemption of such person's real [and personal] property which [now] is [or hereafter shall be] prescribed or allowed by the Constitution or by law but no taxpayer shall be allowed more than one exemption under this act.

†††† b.††† The surviving spouse of any such [citizen and] resident of this State, who at the time of death was entitled to the exemption provided under this act, shall be entitled, on proper claim made therefor, to the same exemption [as the deceased had], during the surviving spouse's widowhood or widowerhood [, as the case may be,] and while a resident of this State, [for the time] provided that the surviving spouse is the legal owner [thereof and actually occupies the said] and occupant of the dwelling house [or any other dwelling house thereafter acquired] for which the exemption is claimed.

†††† c.†††† The surviving spouse of any [citizen and] resident of this State, who died in active service in [time of war in any branch of] the Armed Forces of the United States or† a reserve component thereof as a result of a service-connected injury or disease, shall be entitled, on proper claim made therefor, to an exemption from taxation on the dwelling house and lot or curtilage whereon the same is erected, during the surviving spouse's widowhood or widowerhood [, as the case may be,] and while a resident of this State, [for the time] provided that the surviving spouse is the legal owner [thereof and actually occupies the said dwelling or any other] and occupant of the dwelling house [thereafter acquired] for which the exemption is claimed.

†††† d.††† The surviving spouse of any citizen and resident of this State who died prior to [January 10, 1972, that being] the effective date of [P.L.1971, c.398] P.L.†† , c.††† (C.†††† )(now pending before the Legislature as this bill), and whose circumstances were such that, had said law become effective during the deceased's lifetime, the deceased would have become eligible for the exemption granted under this section as amended by said law, shall be entitled, on proper claim made therefor, to the same exemption [as the deceased would have become eligible for upon the dwelling house and lot or curtilage occupied by the deceased at the time of death,] during the surviving spouse's widowhood or widowerhood [, as the case may be,] and while a resident of this State, [for the time] provided that the surviving spouse is the legal owner [thereof and actually occupies the said] and occupant of the dwelling house [on the premises to be exempted.

†††† e.†††† Nothing in this act shall be intended to include paraplegia or hemiplegia resulting from locomotor ataxia or other forms of syphilis of the central nervous system, or from chronic alcoholism, or to include other forms of disease resulting from the veteran's own misconduct which may produce signs and symptoms similar to those resulting from paraplegia, osteochondritis, or hemiplegia] for which the exemption is claimed.

(cf: P.L.1985, c.515, s.2)

 

†††† 11.† Section 2 of P.L.1948, c.259 (C.54:4-3.31) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2.††† [All exemptions from taxation under this act shall be allowed by the assessor upon the filing with him of a claim in writing under oath, made by or on behalf of the person claiming the same, showing the right to the exemption, briefly describing] A municipal tax assessor shall allow an exemption under section 1 of P.L.1948, c.259 (C.54:4-3.30) to a claimant when the claimant, or a person acting on behalf of the claimant, files with the assessor a claim in writing under oath that contains: (1) a brief description of the property for which exemption is claimed [and having annexed thereto] ;(2) a certificate of the claimant's honorable discharge or release under honorable circumstances[,] from active service [, in time of war,] in [any branch of the armed forces] the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof; and (3) a certificate from the United States [Veterans Administration] Department of Veterans' Affairs or its successor, certifying to a service-connected disability of [such] the claimant of the character described in section 1 of [this act] P.L.1948, c.259 (C.54:4-3.30). In the case of a claim by a surviving spouse of such veteran, the claimant shall establish in writing under oath that (1) the claimant is the owner of the legal title to the premises on which exemption is claimed; (2) that the claimant occupies the dwelling house on said premises as the claimant's legal residence in this State; (3) that the veteran [shall have been] was declared by the United States [Veterans Administration] Department of Veterans' Affairs to have a service-connected disability of a character described in [this act] section 1 of P.L.1948, c.259 (C.54:4-3.30), or, in the case of a claim for an exemption under subsection c. of [section 1 of this act (C.54:4-3.30)] that section, that the veteran [shall have been] was declared to have died in active service [in time of war]; (4) that the veteran was entitled to an exemption provided [for in this act] under section 1 of P.L.1948, c.259 (C.54:4-3.30), except for an exemption under subsection c. or d. of section 1 [hereof] of that section, at the time of death; and (5) that the claimant is a resident of this State and has not remarried.

†††† [Such exemptions] Exemptions provided for under section 1 of P.L.1948, c.259 (C.54:4-3.30 et seq.) shall be allowed and prorated by the assessor for the remainder of any taxable year from the date the claimant shall have acquired title to the real property intended to be exempt by this act.† Where a portion of a multiple-family building or structure occupied by the claimant is the subject of such exemption, the assessor shall aggregate the assessment on the lot or curtilage and building or structure and allow an exemption of that percentage of the aggregate assessment as the value of the portion of the building or structure occupied by the claimant bears to the value of the entire building or structure.

(cf: P.L.1985, c.515, s.3)

 

†††† 12.† Section 1 of P.L.1963, c.171 (C.54:4-8.10) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 1.††† (a)† ["Active service in time of war" means active service at some time during one of the following periods:

†††† Operation "Iraqi Freedom", on or after the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the inception date of that operation, who served in Iraq or in another area in the region in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the termination date of that operation; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† Operation "Enduring Freedom", on or after September 11, 2001, who served in a theater of operation and in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before the date the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense designates as the termination date of that operation; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† Operation "Restore Hope" in Somalia, on or after December 5, 1992, or the date of inception of that operation as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date is earliest, who has served in Somalia or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service commencing on or before March 31, 1994; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14-day service as herein provided;

†††† Operations "Joint Endeavor" and "Joint Guard" in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on or after November 20, 1995, who served in such active service in direct support of one or both of the operations for at least 14 days, continuously or in the aggregate, commencing on or before June 20, 1998, and (1) was deployed in that nation or in another area in the region, or (2) was on board a United States naval vessel operating in the Adriatic Sea, or (3) operated in airspace above the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; provided that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person completed the 14-day service requirement;

†††† Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch, on or after August 27, 1992, or the date of inception of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States, Congress or United States Secretary of Defense, whichever date of inception is earliest, who served in the theater of operation, including in the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf, and in direct support of that operation for a period, continuously or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days in such active service, commencing on or before the date of termination as proclaimed by the President of the United States, Congress or United States Secretary of Defense, whichever date of termination is the latest; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability while engaged in such service shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† Operation "Desert Shield/Desert Storm" mission in the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf, on or after August 2, 1990 or the date of inception of that operation, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of inception is earliest, who has served in the Arabian peninsula or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the Persian Gulf for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† The Panama peacekeeping mission, on or after December 20, 1989 or the date of inception of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of inception is earliest, who has served in Panama or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before January 31, 1990 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† The Grenada peacekeeping mission, on or after October 23, 1983, who has served in Grenada or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before November 21, 1983 or the date of termination of that mission as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† The Lebanon peacekeeping mission, on or after September 26, 1982, who has served in Lebanon or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before December 1, 1987 or the date of termination of that mission, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† The Vietnam conflict, December 31, 1960, to May 7, 1975;

†††† The Lebanon crisis, on or after July 1, 1958, who has served in Lebanon or on board any ship actively engaged in patrolling the territorial waters of that nation for a period, continuous or in the aggregate, of at least 14 days commencing on or before November 1, 1958 or the date of termination of that conflict, as proclaimed by the President of the United States or Congress, whichever date of termination is the latest, in such active service; provided, that any person receiving an actual service-incurred injury or disability shall be classed as a veteran whether or not that person has completed the 14 days' service as herein provided;

†††† The Korean conflict, June 23, 1950 to January 31, 1955;

†††† World War II, September 16, 1940 to December 31, 1946;

†††† World War I, April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918, and in the case of service with the United States military forces in Russia, April 6, 1917 to April 1, 1920;

†††† Spanish-American War, April 21, 1898 to August 13, 1898;

†††† Civil War, April 15, 1861 to May 26, 1865; or, as to any subsequent war, during the period from the date of declaration of war to the date on which actual hostilities shall cease] Deleted by amendment, P.L.†† , c.†† (C.†† )(now before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† (b)†† "Assessor" means the assessor, board of assessors or any other official or body of a taxing district charged with the duty of assessing real and personal property for the purpose of general taxation.

†††† (c)†† "Collector" means the collector or receiver of taxes of a taxing district.

†††† (d)†† "Honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances [from active service in time of war,]" means [and includes] every form of separation from active [, full-time duty with military or naval pay and allowances in some branch of the] service in the Armed Forces of the United States [in time of war] or from military service in a reserve component thereof, other than those marked "dishonorable," "undesirable," "bad conduct," "by sentence of general court martial," "by sentence of summary court martial" or similar expression indicating that the discharge or release was not under honorable circumstances.† [A] "Honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances" shall not include a† disenrollment certificate or other form of release terminating temporary service in [a military or naval branch of the armed forces] the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof rendered on a voluntary and part-time basis without pay, or a release from or deferment of induction into [the] active [military or naval] service [shall not be deemed to be included in the aforementioned phrase] of the Armed Forces of the United States, or military service in a reserve component thereof.

†††† (e)†† "Pre-tax year" means the particular calendar year immediately preceding the "tax year."

†††† (f)†† "Resident" means one legally domiciled within the State of New Jersey.† Mere seasonal or temporary residence within the State, of whatever duration, shall not constitute domicile within the State for the purposes of this act.† Absence from this State for a period of 12 months shall be prima facie evidence of abandonment of domicile in this State. The burden of establishing legal domicile within the State shall be upon the claimant.

†††† (g)†† "Tax year" means the particular calendar year in which the general property tax is due and payable.

†††† (h)†† "Veteran" means any [citizen and] resident of this State who served at least 90 days of active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, excluding any period of service for basic training or as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, or served as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States for an entire period for which called to federal active service, not including active duty for training, and was honorably discharged or released therefrom under honorable circumstances [from active service in time of war in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States].† A person who served fewer than 90 days of active service or who served less than the entire period to which called to active service shall be classed as a veteran if that person has been honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service as a result of a service-connected disability incurred as a result of such service.

†††† (i)††† "Veteran's deduction" means the deduction against the taxes payable by any person, allowable pursuant to this act.

†††† (j)††† "Surviving spouse" means the surviving wife or husband of [any of the following,] a veteran, or of a resident of this State who died in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof, while [he or she] the surviving wife or husband is a resident of this State, during widowhood or widowerhood [:

†††† 1.††† A citizen and resident of this State who has died or shall die while on active duty in time of war in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States; or

†††† 2.††† A citizen and resident of this State who has had or shall hereafter have active service in time of war in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States and who died or shall die while on active duty in a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States; or

†††† 3.††† A citizen and resident of this State who has been or may hereafter be honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service in time of war in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States].

†††† (k)†† "Cooperative" means a housing corporation or association incorporated or organized under the laws of New Jersey which entitles a shareholder thereof to possess and occupy for dwelling purposes a house, apartment or other structure owned or leased by the corporation or association.

†††† (l)††† "Mutual housing corporation" means a corporation not-for-profit incorporated under the laws of New Jersey on a mutual or cooperative basis within the scope of section 607 of the "National Defense Housing Act," Pub.L.76-849 (42 U.S.C.s.1521 et seq.), which acquired a National Defense Housing Project pursuant to that act.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.64, s.5)

 

†††† 13.† Section 2 of P.L.1963, c.171 (C.54:4-8.11) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2.††† Every [person a citizen and resident of this State now or hereafter honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service in time of war in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States] veteran and [a] surviving spouse [as defined herein, during her widowhood or his widowerhood, and while a resident of this State,] shall be entitled, annually, on proper claim [being made] therefor, to a deduction from the amount of any tax bill for taxes on real [or personal] property [or both] in the sum of $100 in tax year 2000, $150 in tax year 2001, $200 in tax year 2002, and $250 in each subsequent tax year, or if the amount of any such tax shall be less than $100 in tax year 2000, $150 in tax year 2001, $200 in tax year 2002, and $250 in each subsequent tax year, to a cancellation thereof.

(cf: P.L.2000, c.9, s.1)

 

†††† 14.† Section 3 of P.L.1963, c.171 (C.54:4-8.12) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 3.††† No veteran's deduction from taxes assessed against real [and personal] property, as provided herein, shall be allowed except upon written application therefor, which application shall be on a form prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation, in the Department of the Treasury, and provided for the use of claimants hereunder by the governing body of the municipality constituting the taxing district in which such claim is to be filed and the application has been approved as provided in this act.

†††† [An assessor shall not require the filing of an application for a veteran's deduction under this act of any person who has filed, or shall file, a claim for an exemption from taxation under chapter 184 of the laws of 1951, on or before December 31, 1963, but shall approve a veteran's deduction for such person, if it appears from such claim for exemption that such person meets all the other prerequisites required by law for the approval of a claim for a veteran's deduction.]

†††† Each assessor may at any time inquire into the right of a claimant to the continuance of a veteran's deduction [hereunder] and for that purpose he or she may require the filing of a new application or the submission of such proof as [he] shall [deem] be deemed necessary to determine the right of the claimant to continuance of such deduction.† No application for a veteran's deduction based upon active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof shall be allowed unless there is annexed thereto a copy [, which may be photostatic,] of the claimant's certificate of honorable discharge or [of his certificate of] release under honorable circumstances from [active service in time of war in a branch of] the Armed Forces of the United States or a reserve component thereof.

†††† In the case of an application by a surviving spouse said application shall not be allowed unless it clearly establishes that:

†††† (a)†† Claimant's spouse died while on active [duty] service in [a branch of] the Armed Forces of the United States [, having had active service in time of war, as herein defined, in a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States] or a reserve component thereof, or in the case of a surviving spouse of a veteran, claimant shall establish that the veteran was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from [active service in time of war in any branch of] the Armed Forces of the United States, or a reserve component thereof; (b) claimant's spouse was a [citizen and] resident of this State at the time of death[,]; (c) claimant was the spouse of the veteran at the time of the veteran's death[,]; and (d) claimant is a resident of this State and has not remarried.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.30, s.1)

 

†††† 15.† Section 4 of P.L.1963, c.171 (C.54:4-8.13) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 4.††† An application for a veteran's deduction [hereunder] may be filed with the assessor of the taxing district at any time on or before December 31 of the pretax year.† If so filed and approved by the assessor, he or she shall allow a veteran's deduction from taxes on the real [or personal] property [, or both,] assessed to the claimant in the amount [of the claim approved by him and] prescribed by section 2 of P.L.1963, c.171 (C.54:4-8.11).† The assessor shall indicate, upon the assessment list and duplicates, (1) the veteran's deduction application approval [thereof] in such manner as shall be prescribed by rules of the Director of the Division of Taxation [, together with] ;and (2) the proportionate share of [such] property deemed to be owned by the claimant for the purposes of [this act] establishing a claim to a veteran's deduction, if the claimant is not the sole owner thereof. [The] If the application [, if] is not filed with the assessor [within the time aforementioned,] on or before December 31 of the pretax year, it may be filed with the collector during the tax year [and upon approval by] for review.† If the collector [of such] approves the application he or she shall determine the amount of the reduction in tax to which the claimant is entitled and shall allow said amount as an offset against the tax then remaining unpaid.† If the amount allowable as an offset [shall exceed] exceeds the amount of the tax then unpaid for that tax year, or if the application for a veteran's deduction is not filed with the collector until after all taxes for the tax year have been fully paid, the claimant may make application to the governing body of the municipality constituting the taxing district for the refund of any tax overpaid, but without interest, and the governing body may, in its discretion, direct the return of any tax [deemed by it] it deems to have been overpaid by reason of claimant's failure to make timely application for a veteran's deduction; provided, however, that an assessor, collector or governing body shall not allow an [no] application for a veteran's deduction for any previous tax year [shall be allowed by any assessor, collector or governing body].

†††† Where an application for a veteran's deduction is filed with and allowed by a collector [he], the collector shall promptly transmit such application and all exhibits attached thereto, or a [photostatic] copy thereof, to the assessor of the taxing district.† Upon receipt thereof the assessor shall review the application and if approved by [him] the assessor it shall have the same force as if originally filed with him or her.

(cf: P.L.1985, c.515, s.9)

 

†††† 16.† Section 8 of P.L.1963, c.171 (C.54:4-8.17) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 8.††† No person shall be allowed a veteran's deduction from the tax assessed against real [and personal] property of more than $100 in the aggregate in tax year 2000, $150 in the aggregate in tax year 2001, $200 in the aggregate in tax year 2002 and $250 in the aggregate in any subsequent tax year, but a veteran's deduction may be claimed in any taxing district in which the claimant has taxable property and may be apportioned, at the claimant's option, between two or more taxing districts; provided such claims shall not exceed $100 in the aggregate in tax year 2000, $150 in the aggregate in tax year 2001, $200 in the aggregate in tax year 2002 and $250 in the aggregate in any subsequent tax year.† If a surviving spouse [, as herein defined, shall have been honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service in time of war in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States,] is also a veteran, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to a veteran's deduction for each status.

†††† The veteran's deductions herein provided shall be in addition to any exemptions now or hereafter provided by any other statute for disabled veterans or surviving spouses [, as herein defined,] and in addition to any deductions provided under P.L.1963, c.172 (C.54:4-8.40 et seq.) for senior citizens and the permanently and totally disabled, and certain surviving spouses thereof, to which the claimant is entitled. In addition, a claimant may receive any homestead rebate or credit provided by law.

(cf: P.L.2000, c.9, s.2)

 

†††† 17.†††† (New section)† Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a resident of this State who is in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or is a member of a reserve component thereof, and has not been discharged or released therefrom, but who otherwise qualifies as a veteran, shall be eligible for a civil service preference on the same basis as a veteran. Instead of the certificate of honorable discharge or release under honorable circumstances required to be provided to the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs pursuant to N.J.S.11A:5-1, the claimant shall provide to the Adjutant General, in a form and content the Adjutant General shall deem appropriate, evidence of his or her status as an active service member of the Armed Forces of the United States or as a member of a reserve component thereof.

 

†††† 18.†††† (New section)† Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a resident of this State who is in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or is a member of a reserve component thereof, and has not been discharged or released therefrom, but who otherwise qualifies as a veteran, shall be eligible for a veterans' deduction on the same basis as a veteran.† Instead of the certificate of honorable discharge or release under honorable circumstances required to be provided to the assessor pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1963, c.171 (C.54:4-8.12), the claimant shall provide to the assessor, in a form and content the Adjutant General shall deem appropriate, evidence of his or her status as an active service member of the Armed Forces of the United States or as a member of a reserve component thereof.

 

†††† 19.†††† N.J.S.11A:5-13,† section 3 of P.L.2001, c.128 (C.43:15A-24b) and section 1 of P.L.1983, c.391 (C.43:16A-11.7) are repealed.

 

†††† 20.†††† Section 2 of P.L.1971, c.398 (C.54:4-3.33a) is repealed.

 

†††† 21.†††† This act shall take effect immediately, but sections 1 through 3 shall take effect on the 1st day of the calendar year following approval by the voters of an authorizing amendment to Article VII, Section I, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and sections 10 through 16, section 18 and section 20

shall take effect on the 1st day of the tax year following approval by the voters of an authorizing amendment to Article VIII, Section I, paragraph 3 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill broadens the eligibility for various veterans benefits by eliminating the requirement that to be considered a veteran a person must have served during periods of war, in specific war zones, or during periods of emergency.† Instead, the bill provides that a person will be considered a veteran if he or she served for at least 90 days, exclusive of certain types of initial training, in order to be eligible for† veterans benefits.† The bill specifies that to be considered a veteran and eligible for veterans benefits, a member of a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces (including the National Guard) must serve the entire period to which he or she is called to federal active service, exclusive of active duty for training.† A person who is discharged as the result of a service-connected disability will be classed as a veteran even if he or she did not meet the 90-day service requirement.

†††† The veterans benefits include:

†††† (1)†† civil service preference under Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes;

†††† (2)†† veteran's retirement allowance under the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) or the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS);

†††† (3)†† the purchase of additional military service credit in the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS), TPAF and PERS;

†††† (4)†† the annual† property tax deduction provided under Article VIII of the New Jersey Constitution ($250 each tax year) or the property tax exemption provided under N.J.S.A.54:4-3.30 for a veteran who is certified permanently 100% disabled by the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs; and

†††† (5)†† surviving spouse benefits for veterans killed in active service, including civil service preference and the property tax deduction or exemption.

†††† The bill provides that an active service member of the United States Armed Forces or a current member of a military reserve component (including the National Guard) who has not been discharged from service is eligible for the civil service preference and the property tax deduction provided that he or she qualifies as a veteran.

†††† Eligibility for the property tax benefits and civil service preference is contingent upon voter approval of authorizing amendments to the State Constitution.† Article VIII, Section I, paragraph 3 (concerning property tax benefits) and Article VII, Section I, paragraph 2 (concerning civil service preference) of the State Constitution currently refer to service in time of war.

†††† The bill repeals a section of existing civil service, pension and tax law regarding wartime service which is no longer necessary because of the elimination of the wartime service requirement.