Legislation sponsored by Senators Kip Bateman and Dawn Marie Addiego giving veterans’ organization more flexibility to manage their costs has been signed by Governor Chris Christie. The measure, S-87, allows those organizations to use the net proceeds from games of chance to support their organizations financially. Voters will have the chance to approve the proposal on a ballot question in November.
“Non-profits and organizations that serve our veterans have undergone difficult times in recent years as many people have had less to give because of economic hardships,” said Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset). “This bill gives veterans’ groups additional financial flexibility by allowing them to tap a new stream of revenues to help pay their bills.”
Under current law, veterans’ organizations are required to dedicate the proceeds they raise from games of chance, such as bingo, raffles and lottery, to educational, charitable, patriotic, religious or public-spirited uses.
S-87, signed by Christie on Wednesday, expands the permitted use of those proceeds collected by veterans’ organizations from games of chance to include directly supporting the costs of the organization, including increased costs for maintenance, electric, gas, oil and other utilities.
“We need to do all we can to ensure no veterans’ association has to shut its doors, ending invaluable service programs to the public, all because they can no longer afford to pay their electric bill or basic costs of their facilities,” added Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic). “This common-sense measure will provide additional means for non-profit veterans’ organizations to raise the funds they need so they can remain a steadfast part of our communities.”
The legislation requires the approval of a constitutional amendment. A ballot question will be put before voters in November to approve the change.