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Senate Approves Measures Sponsored by Connors, Rumpf & Gove Supporting Veterans and Emergency Service Volunteers

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The State Senate passed two legislative initiatives sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that, separately, are aimed at assisting veterans and emergency service volunteer personnel.

The first measure, S-1024/A-515, would expand “Operation Recognition,” a program which offered state-endorsed high school diplomas to veterans who left high school prior to graduation to serve in the military, to include veterans of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

“Given the success of ‘Operation Recognition,’ which was originally established by the state to provide diplomas to World War I and World War II veterans, it is only appropriate to expand this program to Korean and Vietnam War veterans,” said Senator Connors, who serves on the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “These individuals’ have already rightfully earned the respect and gratitude of their fellow countrymen. Now, they deserve the opportunity to be awarded their high school diploma which they may not have received on account of enlisting with the military or for other reasons.”

The second measure passed by the Senate, S-1057, would clarify the original intent of the Legislature by closing a loophole used by certain county colleges to deny volunteer emergency personnel tuition assistance under the state’s volunteer tuition credit program. The volunteer tuition credit program provides a tuition credit benefit of up to $2,400 over four years to active members of a volunteer fire company, volunteer first aid or rescue squad or association, and the dependent children and spouse of such members.

“Our Delegation’s bill was introduced on behalf of emergency service volunteers who are being denied educational opportunities by certain community colleges that are deliberately misinterpreting the law,” said Assemblyman Rumpf. “To prevent community colleges from continuing this practice, our Delegation is working to ensure that all eligible emergency service volunteers and their families are able to participate in the tuition credit program. Not only do these individuals protect our communities, they keep property taxes down, which would otherwise be higher for homeowners if there were paid personnel providing these services.”

Assemblywoman Gove, who serves on the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, went on to add “The common goal of these two legislative initiatives is to recognize the tremendous services performed by two dedicated groups of our society. Given the hardships involved with their military service, more veterans should be afforded the opportunity to achieve their diploma through the state. We must also ensure that volunteer firefighter and emergency service personnel can take advantage of programs which not only reward these individuals but also serve as effective recruitment tools.”

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The 9th District Team

Chris Connors

Senator - District 9

Brian Rumpf

Assemblyman - District 9

DiAnne Gove

Assemblywoman - District 9

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