The Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved legislation today, sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew that would create a task force to study and develop recommendations for expanding veterans’ health care services in southern New Jersey. The panel approved the legislation at an off-site committee meeting held today at the Somers Point VFW Post 2189, where dozens of veterans told stories of having to travel for more than an hour, sometimes taking day-long trips, to get to veterans’ hospitals for care. The legislation (S-1189) approved by the committee would create the “New Jersey Veterans’ Hospital Task Force” to study and develop recommendations for constructing and operating a veterans health care facility in southern New Jersey, or for contracting with an existing health care facility to provide services to veterans. There is no federal Department of Veterans Affairs inpatient veterans’ medical center in southern New Jersey. While the VA has established small clinics in Ventnor, Cape May and Vineland, they are only equipped to perform certain types of outpatient medical services, and are often overwhelmed by the large number of veterans seeking care.