Senator JEFF VAN DREW
District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)
Senator SANDRA B. CUNNINGHAM
District 31 (Hudson)
Senators Brown and Greenstein
Provides that former law enforcement officers and firefighters who retired due to disability are eligible to receive tuition assistance to attend public institution of higher education or proprietary institution licensed to confer academic degrees.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on January 17, 2019, with amendments.
An Act concerning tuition assistance for certain retired law enforcement officers 1and retired firefighters1 and supplementing chapter 71B of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. As used in this act:
1“Firefighting unit” means a municipal fire department, a fire district, or an agency of a county or the State or a federal agency which is responsible for the control and extinguishment of fires.1
“Public institution of higher education” means Rutgers, The State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, Montclair State University, the State colleges or universities established pursuant to chapter 64 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, the county colleges and any other public university or college now or hereafter established or authorized by State law.
1“Retired firefighter” means a New Jersey resident who was employed as a permanent full-time member of a firefighting unit.1
“Retired law enforcement officer” means a New Jersey resident who was employed as a permanent full-time member of any federal, State, county or municipal law enforcement agency, department, or division of those governments who was statutorily empowered to act for the detection, investigation, arrest, conviction, detention, or rehabilitation of persons violating criminal laws of this State or of the United States and was statutorily required to successfully complete a training course approved by the Police Training Commission pursuant to P.L.1961, c.56 (C.52:17B-66 et seq.), or certified by the commission as substantially equivalent to an approved course.
b. A retired law enforcement officer 1or a retired firefighter1 who retired in good standing shall be permitted to attend regularly-scheduled courses at a public institution of higher education or a proprietary institution licensed to confer academic degrees for certain programs by the Secretary of Higher Education and receive up to 16 credits per semester tuition-free provided that:
(1) the officer 1or firefighter1 retired because of a disability pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1944, c.255 (C.43:16A-6), section 7 of P.L.1944, c.255 (C.43:16A-7), section 1 of P.L.1989, c.103 (C.43:16A-6.1), 1section 9 of P.L.1965, c.89 (C.53:5A-9), section 10 of P.L.1965, c.89 (C.53:5A-10),1 or any substantially similar statute governing the disability retirement of federal law enforcement officers 1or federal firefighters1, provided that the officer 1or firefighter1 was a regularly employed, full-time law enforcement officer 1or firefighter1 for an aggregate of four or more years prior to his disability retirement;
(2) the retired officer 1or firefighter1 has been accepted to pursue a course of undergraduate study and is enrolled as an undergraduate student in good standing at that institution or a course of graduate study and is enrolled as a graduate student in good standing at that institution, or has been accepted to pursue a course of study in an academic degree-granting program at a proprietary institution which has been licensed to confer academic degrees by the secretary and is enrolled in good standing at that institution; and
(3) the retired officer 1or firefighter1 has applied for all available State student grants and scholarships and all available federal student grants and scholarships for which the retired officer 1or firefighter1 is eligible.
c. The State shall reimburse a public institution of higher education or a proprietary institution for the tuition of each eligible retired law enforcement officer 1and retired firefighter1 who enrolls in the institution pursuant to the provisions of this section to the extent that the tuition cost is not paid through the State student grants and scholarships and the federal student grants and scholarships for which the retired law enforcement officer 1or retired firefighter1 is eligible.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.