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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #54

Governor James E. McGreevey

WHEREAS, the President of the United States has authorized the Secretary of Defense to call up select members of the Reserve and National Guard to active duty in response to the continuing Global War on Terrorism, potential armed conflict with Iraq, and heightened tensions with North Korea; and

WHEREAS, the President of the United States has also authorized the Secretary of Homeland Security to similarly call up members of the Coast Guard Reserve; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey residents are among the Reserve and National Guard members who have been mobilized into active duty with the United States Armed Forces; and

WHEREAS, Reserve and National Guard members who are activated during this crisis are serving vital national and State interests for which they deserve the full support of the citizens of this State; and

WHEREAS, many of the State's resident mobilized Reserve and National Guard members and their families will suffer short and long-term emotional, financial and physical hardships due to their service during Operation Iraqi Freedom; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the State recognize the sacrifices made by its residents in the Reserve and National Guard and the debt owed to them and their families;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. I will seek through legislation the provision of health benefits coverage for immediate family members of National Guard personnel called to State active duty that exceeds 30 days, in situations where Guard personnel lose their employment-related health benefits or where such personnel did not have employer-related health benefit coverage.

  2. I will also seek legislation that will increase the pay of Guard members called to State active duty so that their salary approximates the federalized Guard pay.

  3. I will urge the federal government to exempt from federal taxes housing and subsistence allowances for National Guard members called to State active duty, and I will pursue legislation that will exempt such allowances from New Jersey State taxes.

  4. The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the Commissioner of Transportation, is hereby directed to timely extend the renewal date of drivers' licenses, vehicle registration and motor vehicle inspections for active duty military service personnel during their active service in the war on terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  5. New Jersey Transit Corporation is hereby directed to afford to all military personnel the Senior Citizen half-price discount on its trains and buses.

  6. The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) is directed to coordinate the creation of a scholarship fund for students who are New Jersey residents, who demonstrate that their parent, spouse or another person on whom they relied for significant financial assistance or contribution to meet their daily needs (hereinafter, dependent student), was killed or severely disabled in the War on Terrorism or in the war with Iraq. HESAA is authorized to solicit and accept contributions to the scholarship fund.

  7. All State Colleges and Universities subject to N.J.S.A. 18A:64-1 et seq. and the New Jersey Institute of Technology shall hereby forego and desist collecting tuition and fees charged for the Fall 2003 semester and subsequent semesters from dependent students as defined in paragraph 6 of this Order.

  8. Any junior or county college or independent four-year college or university that voluntarily foregoes or delays collection of tuition and fees for the Fall 2003 semester and subsequent semesters from dependent students may submit to HESAA an application for reimbursement up to the amount currently charged for tuition and fees by any State college or university for a full-time student who is a New Jersey resident, or for actual tuition and fees charged, whichever is the lesser amount.

  9. All State Colleges and Universities subject to N.J.S.A. 18A:64-1 et seq., and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, may submit to the HESAA an application for reimbursement for tuition and fees incurred by any dependent student for the Fall 2003 semester and subsequent semesters.

  10. HESAA shall work with the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education to develop a process to review such applications for reimbursement that are submitted by colleges and universities pursuant to this Order.

  11. To ensure that members of the National Guard and Reserves are not precluded from applying or renewing applications for grant and scholarship programs administered by the HESAA, the Authority is directed to extend both the June 1 application deadline for previous Tuition Aid Grant recipients and the October 1 application deadline for first-time filers, for members of the National Guard and Reserves until 45 days after their return from active military service.

  12. To facilitate the communication between activated troops and family members, the New Jersey public colleges and universities are urged to provide free Internet access and establish e-mail accounts at their institutions for family members to use to communicate with those loved ones.

  13. Legislation will be pursued that provides for National Guard and Reserves members, who are called to active military service and therefore unable to complete a course of study at the New Jersey institution of higher education, to receive tuition refund or re-enrollment rights, upon their completion of military service. This will afford some measure of protection to those called for duty and enable them to continue their pursuit of a post-secondary education when they return to civilian life.

  14. The Attorney General shall strictly enforce all laws to protect military personnel against discrimination related to housing, employment, education, public accommodations, and credit applications due to active duty service. The Attorney General, in coordination with the Adjutant General, will establish a telephone "hot line" to receive complaints of discrimination to ensure prompt investigation.

  15. The Department of Banking and Insurance is directed to promulgate emergency regulations that will:

    1. prohibit cancellations of professional liability insurance policies while the policyholder is on active duty;
    2. suspend the policyholder's obligation to pay premium during the term of his or her period of active duty; and
    3. require renewal without lapse of policies that expire during active duty, if application to renew is made within 60 days of return from active duty.

  16. I will propose legislation to permit military personnel called to active duty service in the war on terrorism or the war with Iraq to terminate a car lease without penalty.

  17. The Department of Labor is hereby directed to work closely with its one-stop career centers across the State to insure that returning members of the National Guard are given immediate and thorough attention to their employment needs, and that such returning members shall have access to counselors whose specific duties include conducting seminars for employers and job search workshops for returning Guard members.

  18. The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs is charged with the responsibility for the coordination of the provision of such entitlements and services offered by the State in support of its Mobilized Residents and their families.

  19. Any New Jersey resident mobilized into Active Duty with the Armed Forces or Coast Guard of the United States by order of the President for Operation Iraqi Freedom will be considered eligible for those Veterans' Entitlements for which they are in all other aspects qualified.

  20. All New Jersey Veterans' organizations and employers are encouraged to cooperate with the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs and with their local communities to ensure that the State's active service members receive the support that they and their families deserve.

  21. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 1st day
of April in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand
and Three, and of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Seventh. 

/s/ James E. McGreevey
Governor

[seal]

Attest:

/s/ Michael R. DeCotiis
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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