SENATE, No. 2538

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 10, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

Senator† JOSEPH PENNACCHIO

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman† SEAN T. KEAN

District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Assemblywoman† CAROL A. MURPHY

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblywoman† BETTYLOU DECROCE

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman† JOHN ARMATO

District 2 (Atlantic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators A.R.Bucco, Ruiz, Assemblywomen Tucker, Pinkin, Timberlake, Assemblymen Space, Wirths and Mazzeo

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Makes New Jersey National Guard members with NGB-22 form eligible for certain veteransí benefits.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act making New Jersey National Guard members with a NGB-22 form eligible for certain veteransí benefits, and amending various parts of the statutory law.†

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† Section 1 of P.L.2013, c.165 (C.39:3-10f6) is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 1.††† a. (1) In addition to the requirements for the form and content of a motor vehicle driver's license under R.S.39:3-10 and a probationary license issued under section 4 of P.L.1950, c.127 (C.39:3-13.4), the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall, upon submission of satisfactory proof, designate on an initial license, renewal license, or probationary license, as appropriate, that the license holder is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States of America or the New Jersey National Guard.† The designation of veteran status on an initial license, renewal license, or probationary license shall not be deemed sufficient valid proof of veteran status for official governmental purposes when any other statute, or any regulation or other directive of a governmental entity, requires documentation of veteran status.

†††† (2)†† In addition to the requirements for the form and content of a motor vehicle driver's license under R.S.39:3-10 and a probationary license issued under section 4 of P.L.1950, c.127 (C.39:3-13.4), the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall, upon submission of satisfactory proof, designate on an initial license, renewal license, or probationary license, as appropriate, that the license holder is a Gold Star Family member.† The commission shall provide to the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs personal identifying information of any person issued a driver's license with a Gold Star Family designation pursuant to this section.

†††† b.††† For the purpose of this section:

†††† "Gold Star Family member" means a spouse, domestic partner, partner in a civil union, parent, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or other legal custodian, whether of the whole or half blood or by adoption, of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard, who lost his or her life while on active duty for the United States.

†††† "Veteran" means a person who has been honorably discharged from the active military service of the United States or from service in the New Jersey National Guard.

†††† "Satisfactory proof" means, in the case of a veteran, a copy of form NGB-22, DD-214 or federal activation orders showing service under Title 10, section 672 or section 12301, of the United States Code, or a county veteran identification card only if issuance of the card requires a copy of form NGB-22, DD-214 discharge papers or approved separation forms as outlined by all branches of the military and duly recorded by the county clerk's office.† In the case of a Gold Star Family member, satisfactory proof includes any or all of the following:†

†††† (1)†† a certification from the Department of New Jersey of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., or any other organization formed for the support of family members of members of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard, who lost their lives while on active duty for the United States, that the applicant is either the spouse, domestic partner, partner in a civil union, parent, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or other legal custodian, whether of the whole or half blood or by adoption, of a member of the armed forces or National Guard who died while on active duty for the United States; or

†††† (2)†† (a) documentation deemed acceptable by the Adjutant General, including, but not limited to, an NGB-22, a federal DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty, or a federal DD Form 2064, Certificate of Death Overseas, which identifies the member of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard who died while on active duty for the United States; and

†††† (b)†† documentation indicating the applicant's relationship to the service member.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.175, s.5)

 

†††† 2.††† Section 2 of P.L.1980, c.47 (C.39:3-29.3) is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 2.††† a. (1) The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall issue an identification card to any resident of the State who is 14 years of age or older and who is not the holder of a valid permit or basic driver's license. The identification card shall attest to the true name, correct age, and veteran status, upon submission of satisfactory proof, by any veteran, and shall contain other identifying data as certified by the applicant for such identification card. Every application for an identification card shall be signed and verified by the applicant and shall be accompanied by the written consent of at least one parent or the person's legal guardian if the person is under 17 years of age and shall be supported by such documentary evidence of the age, identity, and veteran status, or blindness, or disability of such person as the chief administrator may require. In addition to requiring an applicant for an identification card to submit satisfactory proof of identity, age, and, if appropriate, veteran status, the chief administrator also shall require the applicant to provide, as a condition for obtaining the card, satisfactory proof that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.† If the chief administrator has reasonable cause to suspect that any document presented by an applicant as proof of identity, age, veteran status, or legal residency is altered, false or otherwise invalid, the chief administrator shall refuse to grant the identification card until such time as the document may be verified by the issuing agency to the chief administrator's satisfaction.

†††† (2)†† In addition to the requirements for the form and content of an identification card pursuant to this section, the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall, upon submission of satisfactory proof, designate on an identification card that the card holder is a Gold Star Family member.† The commission shall provide to the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs personal identifying information for any person issued an identification card with a Gold Star Family designation pursuant to this section.

†††† b.††† The designation of veteran status on an identification card shall not be deemed sufficient valid proof of veteran status for official governmental purposes when any other statute, or any regulation or other directive of a governmental entity, requires documentation of veteran status.

†††† c.†††† For the purpose of this section:

†††† "Gold Star Family member" means a spouse, domestic partner, partner in a civil union, parent, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or other legal custodian, whether of the whole or half blood or by adoption, of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard, who lost his or her life while on active duty for the United States.

†††† "Veteran" means a person who has been honorably discharged from the active military service of the United States or from service in the New Jersey National Guard; and

†††† "Satisfactory proof" means, in the case of a veteran, a copy of form NGB-22, DD-214 or federal activation orders showing service under Title 10, section 672 or section 12301, of the United States Code, or a county veteran identification card only if issuance of the card requires a copy of form DD-214 discharge papers or approved separation forms as outlined by all branches of the military and duly recorded by the county clerk's office.† In the case of a Gold Star Family member, satisfactory proof includes any or all of the following:†

†††† (1)†† a certification from the Department of New Jersey of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., or any other organization formed for the support of family members of members of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard, who lost their lives while on active duty for the United States, that the applicant is either the spouse, domestic partner, partner in a civil union, parent, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or other legal custodian, whether of the whole or half blood or by adoption, of a member of the armed forces or National Guard who died while on active duty for the United States; or

†††† (2)†† (a) documentation deemed acceptable by the Adjutant General, including, but not limited to, a federal DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty, or a federal DD Form 2064, Certificate of Death Overseas, which identifies the member of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard who died while on active duty for the United States; and

†††† (b)†† documentation indicating the applicant's relationship to the service member.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.175, s.7)

 

†††† 3.††† Section 4 of P.L.2012, c.30 (C.40A:9-78.4) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 4.††† a.† When such a program has been authorized, the county clerk or register of deeds and mortgages, as appropriate, shall issue an identification card to any veteran who is a resident of the county and who does not hold an identification card issued by the federal government that identifies the person as a veteran.† The veteran identification card shall bear the true name, branch of the military, including a reserve component thereof, in which the veteran served, date of card issuance, separation form submitted, and other identifying information as certified by the applicant for such veteran identification card.† Every application for a veteran identification card shall be signed and certified by the applicant and shall be supported by such documentary evidence as the county clerk or register of deeds and mortgages, as appropriate, may require.

†††† b.††† The documentary evidence required by subsection a. of this section shall include the applicant's NGB-22 or DD-214 form issued by the federal government or approved separation forms as outlined by all branches of the military and duly recorded by the office.† The county clerk or register of deeds and mortgages, as appropriate, shall require a copy of the documentary evidence submitted to be kept on file with the application for the veteran identification card, and shall note the location of the original NGB-22 or DD-214 or other approved separation form on that application form.† The copy of the documentary evidence submitted and the application shall be kept confidential and shall not be considered a government record under P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.), except that they may be released to another government agency. The Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs shall assist in the identification, and verification as needed, of approved separation forms as outlined by all branches of the military and submitted by applicants.

(cf:† P.L.2017, c.292, s.2)

†††† 4.††† Section 1 of P.L.1995, c.23 (C.47:1A-1.1) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 1.††† As used in P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented:

†††† "Biotechnology" means any technique that uses living organisms, or parts of living organisms, to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop micro-organisms for specific uses; including the industrial use of recombinant DNA, cell fusion, and novel bioprocessing techniques.

†††† "Custodian of a government record" or "custodian" means in the case of a municipality, the municipal clerk and in the case of any other public agency, the officer officially designated by formal action of that agency's director or governing body, as the case may be.

†††† "Government record" or "record" means any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained or kept on file in the course of his or its official business by any officer, commission, agency or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof, or that has been received in the course of his or its official business by any such officer, commission, agency, or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof.† The terms shall not include inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative, or deliberative material.

†††† A government record shall not include the following information which is deemed to be confidential for the purposes of P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented:

†††† information received by a member of the Legislature from a constituent or information held by a member of the Legislature concerning a constituent, including but not limited to information in written form or contained in any e-mail or computer data base, or in any telephone record whatsoever, unless it is information the constituent is required by law to transmit;

†††† any memorandum, correspondence, notes, report or other communication prepared by, or for, the specific use of a member of the Legislature in the course of the member's official duties, except that this provision shall not apply to an otherwise publicly-accessible report which is required by law to be submitted to the Legislature or its members;

†††† any copy, reproduction or facsimile of any photograph, negative or print, including instant photographs and videotapes of the body, or any portion of the body, of a deceased person, taken by or for the medical examiner at the scene of death or in the course of a post mortem examination or autopsy made by or caused to be made by the medical examiner except:

†††† when used in a criminal action or proceeding in this State which relates to the death of that person,

†††† for the use as a court of this State permits, by order after good cause has been shown and after written notification of the request for the court order has been served at least five days before the order is made upon the county prosecutor for the county in which the post mortem examination or autopsy occurred,

†††† for use in the field of forensic pathology or for use in medical or scientific education or research, or

†††† for use by any law enforcement agency in this State or any other state or federal law enforcement agency;

†††† criminal investigatory records;

†††† victims' records, except that a victim of a crime shall have access to the victim's own records;

†††† any written request by a crime victim for a record to which the victim is entitled to access as provided in this section, including, but not limited to, any law enforcement agency report, domestic violence offense report, and temporary or permanent restraining order;

†††† personal firearms records, except for use by any person authorized by law to have access to these records or for use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcement agency, for purposes of the administration of justice;

†††† personal identifying information received by the Division of Fish and Wildlife in the Department of Environmental Protection in connection with the issuance of any license authorizing hunting with a firearm.† For the purposes of this paragraph, personal identifying information shall include, but not be limited to, identity, name, address, social security number, telephone number, fax number, driver's license number, email address, or social media address of any applicant or licensee;

†††† trade secrets and proprietary commercial or financial information obtained from any source.† For the purposes of this paragraph, trade secrets shall include data processing software obtained by a public body under a licensing agreement which prohibits its disclosure;

†††† any record within the attorney-client privilege.† This paragraph shall not be construed as exempting from access attorney or consultant bills or invoices except that such bills or invoices may be redacted to remove any information protected by the attorney-client privilege;

†††† administrative or technical information regarding computer hardware, software and networks which, if disclosed, would jeopardize computer security;

†††† emergency or security information or procedures for any buildings or facility which, if disclosed, would jeopardize security of the building or facility or persons therein;

†††† security measures and surveillance techniques which, if disclosed, would create a risk to the safety of persons, property, electronic data or software;

†††† information which, if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors or bidders;

†††† information generated by or on behalf of public employers or public employees in connection with any sexual harassment complaint filed with a public employer or with any grievance filed by or against an individual or in connection with collective negotiations, including documents and statements of strategy or negotiating position;

†††† information which is a communication between a public agency and its insurance carrier, administrative service organization or risk management office;

†††† information which is to be kept confidential pursuant to court order;

†††† any copy of form DD-214, NGB-22, or that form, issued by the United States Government, or any other certificate of honorable discharge, or copy thereof, from active service or the reserves of a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, or from service in the organized militia of the State, that has been filed by an individual with a public agency, except that a veteran or the veteran's spouse or surviving spouse shall have access to the veteran's own records;

†††† any copy of an oath of allegiance, oath of office or any affirmation taken upon assuming the duties of any public office, or that oath or affirmation, taken by a current or former officer or employee in any public office or position in this State or in any county or municipality of this State, including members of the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Judicial Branch, and all law enforcement entities, except that the full name, title, and oath date of that person contained therein shall not be deemed confidential;

†††† that portion of any document which discloses the social security number, credit card number, unlisted telephone number or driver license number of any person; except for use by any government agency, including any court or law enforcement agency, in carrying out its functions, or any private person or entity acting on behalf thereof, or any private person or entity seeking to enforce payment of court-ordered child support; except with respect to the disclosure of driver information by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission as permitted by section 2 of P.L.1997, c.188 (C.39:2-3.4); and except that a social security number contained in a record required by law to be made, maintained or kept on file by a public agency shall be disclosed when access to the document or disclosure of that information is not otherwise prohibited by State or federal law, regulation or order or by State statute, resolution of either or both houses of the Legislature, Executive Order of the Governor, rule of court or regulation promulgated under the authority of any statute or executive order of the Governor;†

†††† [A] a list of persons identifying themselves as being in need of special assistance in the event of an emergency maintained by a municipality for public safety purposes pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2017, c.266 (C.40:48-2.67); and

†††† [A] a list of persons identifying themselves as being in need of special assistance in the event of an emergency maintained by a county for public safety purposes pursuant to section 6 of P.L.2011, c.178 (C.App.A:9-43.13).

†††† A government record shall not include, with regard to any public institution of higher education, the following information which is deemed to be privileged and confidential:

†††† pedagogical, scholarly and/or academic research records and/or the specific details of any research project conducted under the auspices of a public higher education institution in New Jersey, including, but not limited to research, development information, testing procedures, or information regarding test participants, related to the development or testing of any pharmaceutical or pharmaceutical delivery system, except that a custodian may not deny inspection of a government record or part thereof that gives the name, title, expenditures, source and amounts of funding and date when the final project summary of any research will be available;

†††† test questions, scoring keys and other examination data pertaining to the administration of an examination for employment or academic examination;

†††† records of pursuit of charitable contributions or records containing the identity of a donor of a gift if the donor requires non-disclosure of the donor's identity as a condition of making the gift provided that the donor has not received any benefits of or from the institution of higher education in connection with such gift other than a request for memorialization or dedication;

†††† valuable or rare collections of books and/or documents obtained by gift, grant, bequest or devise conditioned upon limited public access;

†††† information contained on individual admission applications; and

†††† information concerning student records or grievance or disciplinary proceedings against a student to the extent disclosure would reveal the identity of the student.

†††† "Personal firearms record" means any information contained in a background investigation conducted by the chief of police, the county prosecutor, or the Superintendent of State Police, of any applicant for a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; any application for a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; any document reflecting the issuance or denial of a permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or firearms registration; and any permit to purchase a handgun, firearms identification card license, or any firearms license, certification, certificate, form of register, or registration statement.† For the purposes of this paragraph, information contained in a background investigation shall include, but not be limited to, identity, name, address, social security number, phone number, fax number, driver's license number, email address, social media address of any applicant, licensee, registrant or permit holder.

†††† "Public agency" or "agency" means any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of State Government, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by such department; the Legislature of the State and any office, board, bureau or commission within or created by the Legislative Branch; and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality or agency.† The terms also mean any political subdivision of the State or combination of political subdivisions, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by a political subdivision of the State or combination of political subdivisions, and any independent authority, commission, instrumentality or agency created by a political subdivision or combination of political subdivisions.

†††† "Law enforcement agency" means a public agency, or part thereof, determined by the Attorney General to have law enforcement responsibilities.

†††† "Constituent" means any State resident or other person communicating with a member of the Legislature.

†††† "Member of the Legislature" means any person elected or selected to serve in the New Jersey Senate or General Assembly.

†††† "Criminal investigatory record" means a record which is not required by law to be made, maintained or kept on file that is held by a law enforcement agency which pertains to any criminal investigation or related civil enforcement proceeding.

†††† "Victim's record" means an individually-identifiable file or document held by a victims' rights agency which pertains directly to a victim of a crime except that a victim of a crime shall have access to the victim's own records.

†††† "Victim of a crime" means a person who has suffered personal or psychological injury or death or incurs loss of or injury to personal or real property as a result of a crime, or if such a person is deceased or incapacitated, a member of that person's immediate family.

†††† "Victims' rights agency" means a public agency, or part thereof, the primary responsibility of which is providing services, including but not limited to food, shelter, or clothing, medical, psychiatric, psychological or legal services or referrals, information and referral services, counseling and support services, or financial services to victims of crimes, including victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, violent crime, child endangerment, child abuse or child neglect, and the Victims of Crime Compensation Board, established pursuant to P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-1 et seq.) and continued as the Victims of Crime Compensation Office pursuant to P.L.2007, c.95 (C.52:4B-3.2 et al.) and Reorganization Plan No. 001-2008.

(cf:† P.L.2017, c.266, s.4)†

 

†††† 5.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill makes members of New Jersey National Guard with an NGB-22 form eligible to receive certain benefits designated for veterans.† The NGB-22 form is a National Guard discharge document similar to a DD-214 form issued to veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

†††† Under this bill, a member of the New Jersey National Guard with an NGB-22 would be eligible for a veteran identification card and the display of veteran status on a driverís licenses.

†††† Current law exempts certificates of honorable discharge from the reserves or the organized militia from access as a public record, but only the DD-214 is specifically mentioned.† This bill clarifies that an NGB-22 form is also exempt from access as a public record.