New Jersey State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Westfield) is pleased to announce that Senator Diane Allen (R- Burlington) has been appointed to the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. She will fill the Republican vacancy on the committee left by Phil Haines, who has taken a seat on the New Jersey Superior Court.
"Senator Allen has demonstrated enormous compassion and concern for veterans and their families throughout her career," said Senator Kean. "Time and again she has led the charge to ensure those who have served our country, as well as their families, receive the benefits, care, and assistance they deserve. Diane will be an outstanding addition to the committee and will work hard in her trademark, bipartisan spirit for the sake of New Jersey's veterans."
Senator Allen's advocacy on behalf of military service members predates her service in elected office. As a television news reporter in Philadelphia, Senator Allen worked to draw attention to the plight of homeless veterans. She has continued this advocacy while in office through participation in many of the Fort Dix Stand Down for Homeless Veterans events, and was the first legislator to ever visit the Veterans' Haven transitional housing facility in Winslow Township. She is a legislative member of the Council on Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs.
"As a representative of Burlington County, home to Fort Dix and thousands of current and retired service members, I am honored to receive this appointment," said Senator Allen. "Assisting those who have served our country is a charge I take very seriously as an elected official. The Military and Veterans Affairs Committee is a body that has always put politics aside to address the needs of active service members, military veterans, and their families. I look forward to working with the other members of the committee and continue my advocacy for housing, healthcare, and job opportunities for those who have selflessly answered our nation's call of duty."
This year, Senator Allen is the prime sponsor of legislation giving retired service members preference in the civil service system, as well as legislation expanding eligibility for the state's veterans' property tax deduction. She has written and passed legislation, now law, establishing the Commission on Women Veterans (P.L.2007, c.319), reserving a portion of New Jersey's rental assistance grants for veterans emerging from transitional housing (P.L.2007, c.208), and establishing minimum per diem pay for National Guard members called into active duty (P.L.2003, c.141).
With this appointment, Senator Allen will now serve on three Senate committees.