Message from Councilman Roc White

As a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Gulf War, I believe a key role in my service to Scotch Plains is to educate veterans about the many programs and service that are offered to them.


With news of the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan – which includes $10.2 billion for the state – I was pleased to see a number of funding initiatives that can benefit our local veterans through the “American Rescue Plan Act.”  


This new funding:

  • Ensures our local veterans will not have any copays or cost-sharing for preventative treatment or services related to COVID-19 going back to April 2020 and authorizes the VA to reimburse those veterans who already submitted payments for care during this period.  
  • Includes more than $14.5 billion for the VA to provide health care services and other related supports – including suicide prevention, Women’s health services, telehealth expansion, medical facility improvements – to eligible veterans and allows up to $4 billion in spending for the Veterans Community Care Program.  
  • Provides nearly $400 million for up to 12 months of rapid retraining for veterans who are unemployed as a result of the pandemic and do not have access to other veteran education benefits. This funding covers a housing allowance.

In addition, there are supports for veterans who own businesses, including:  

  • A $7.25 billion increase in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which allows additional support for veterans struggling to keep businesses open during the pandemic, as well as expands eligibility to 501(c)19 veteran organizations.
  • A $28.66 billion line item to support bars and restaurants that have been hit hard, as well as a special $5 billion fund for smaller establishments with less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019. A key note: during the first 21 days, applications from restaurants owned and operated by veterans and other disadvantaged groups will be priority.  

Locally, we continue to find ways to support and honor veterans. For example, nine Union County facilities now offer designated parking spaces for military veterans, including Ash Brook Golf Course at 1210 Raritan Road. The parking spaces feature signage noting their veteran designation, and may be used by any veteran with a car displaying a special placard provided by county prosecutor.  


To apply for a placard, veterans can contact Janna Williams at 908-527-4918 or Kenneth Glick at 908-527-4719. Thank you, once again, for all who have served.

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