In the more than seven years of this administration,the Veterans portion of the departmental budget has increased $14,660,000. That is a 36.11% gain in funding from 1993 to the governor's recommended budget for FY 2002.
Provides more than $49 million for operation of our three veterans homes.
Ensures that New Jersey's veterans receive quality care at our veterans homes.
Provides more than $2 million for operation of our veterans cemetery and burial services.
Provides $4 million for administration of our veterans benefit programs and continued commitment for care of the state's veterans memorials.
During this current year and for 2002, Veterans Affairs has begun a new outreach with the establishment of our own Veterans Benefits Bureau. The bureau has the authority for determination of veterans preference, veterans status, and veterans catastrophic entitlements.
The Veterans Benefits Bureau is the final approval authority of the aforementioned. By becoming the State Approving Authority, it eliminates having our veterans go to multiple agencies for certifications. State fiscal year 2002 will be the first full year that the bureau will be in service.
The Honor Guard Burial Detail began this current year. This prestigious detail provides the military honors and presence during interments. This entitlement is requested through the funeral director.
Legislation has passed establishing a World War II Memorial Commission. The Commission is currently not funded by an appropriation. Monies to upport the establishment of the Commission will come from the administration portion of the FY 2002 budget. Funding for future year's budgets will be sought to build and maintain the memorial.
The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Program has had a 10% increase in clients utilizing the counseling services provided.It is anticipated that more Korean War era veterans will use the PTSD program entitlement during Fiscal Year 2002.
Greater emphasis toward the Veterans Transportation Program was provided this year, by moving excess funds from lesser-utilized entitlement programs to transportation, more services were available. During Fiscal Year 2002,we look toward growth in this service program.
Editor's Note: The New Jersey State Fiscal Year 2002 runs from July 1, 2001 to June 30,2002. The governor's recommended budget must be passed by the N.J.Senate and Assembly before it becomes law.