Rooney’s bill creating horse license plates to honor state animal, support riding therapy clears Assembly committee
TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey’s state animal, the horse, is trotting towards its own license plate after the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee cleared Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney’s bill on Thursday. Fees for the special plates would support therapeutic riding programs and the welfare of horses.
“The monies generated from the sale of this license plate will not only help our beautiful state animal, the horse, but also people with special needs and veterans who benefit from programs that combine riding and therapy,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “Working with a horse is proven to improve both mental and physical health.”
Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity that improves a person’s balance, flexibility, coordination, and muscle strength. People benefit cognitively, physically, emotionally and socially. For military veterans, it helps reduce post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms. The therapy has also shown to be effective for people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, learning disabilities, trauma and brain injuries.
“New Jersey has more horses per capita than any other state in the nation, so it is fitting to permanently commemorate them on a state license plate that will allow more deserving residents to experience their healing gifts,” said Rooney.
Under the bill (A203), motorists interested in obtaining the state animal license plate through the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission would pay a $50 application fee and a $10 renewal fee.