Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale and Senator Anthony Bucco to offer greater aid to members of the National Guard and Armed Services who are balancing military service and higher education was advanced by the Senate Higher Education Committee.
Legislation by Sen. Gerry Cardinale and Sen. Anthony Bucco would help members of the National Guard and Armed Services who balance military service and higher education. (SenateNJ.com)
“This legislation offers invaluable, duly-deserved support for the members of the military who risk their lives to protect the liberties and freedoms we hold dear,” Senator Cardinale said. “Our pledge to support the troops must extend beyond the battlefield. We can honor this promise by ensuring all of these heroes have the basic support they need to complete their college degree – an essential tool that will help them thrive here in the state they call home.”
Under the bill, S-128, colleges in New Jersey would be required to adopt policies and procedures to support students in the National Guard and Armed Forces Reserves when they miss classes because of deployment, calls for monthly drills, annual training and any active duty service whether voluntary or involuntary.
The legislation provides several grade options for students who are unable to complete a course because of their military service duties and requires students be allowed at least five days per each missed class to make up homework and be given access to lecture notes and a tutor. During the 2015 legislative session, an identical version on this bill received unanimous support on the Senate floor, but stalled in the Assembly.
“These new requirements will surely encourage a new generation of servicemen and women to pursue a college degree – a prospect that may have seemed unobtainable for these heroes, who have already sacrificed so much in their valiant service to our country,” Senator Bucco said. “I am thrilled to see my colleagues in the Senate, once again, demonstrate their unwavering support for this vital effort to support our nation’s brave men and women in uniform.”
S-128 is among many New Jersey Senate Republicans bills to fight for equal opportunities for the disabled, and protections and care for those who safeguard our nation from harm.