Governor Christie wants to give local towns the chance to get rid of civil service protections as part of his toolkit and get rid of what he calls “unnecessary mandates.” Some of those mandates help ensure that veterans are able to get access to employment opportunities they sorely need. That realization has lead to this bill:
Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco (R-Gloucester) Tuesday announced he will introduce legislation on Thursday that would require all municipal and county governments to extend hiring preferences to veterans, regardless of whether they follow the state Civil Service pertaining to it.
That last line is why he needs this bill. To provide cover as he goes along with the Governor because one of Christie’s proposals would take away civil service protections and the issue has been raised by groups including Veterans for Education. They say that while on the surface DiCicco’s bill looks good, it’s really a disaster:
In reality Civil Service Reform is horrible for NJ’s returning veterans. The advantage to the Civil Service exams and Veterans Preference is that they provide State Mandates to all of NJ’s counties and municipalities and Veterans Preference is easier to monitor and enforce when it’s directly tied to the state.
By allowing each town to do their own thing, Veterans groups believe it would be harder to monitor what goes on because it’s not centralized. Veterans believe that the change will become a huge deterrance to getting jobs they should have access to at a time when they need it the most with Vets having double the unemployment rate of the national average. Of course DiCicco wouldn’t need this fix it bill if he didn’t go along with the Governor creating the problem in the first place.