Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would allow municipalities to provide free or reduced-fee beach badges to active military and New Jersey National Guard personnel as well as their spouses and children over the age of 12 was signed into law today by Governor Chris Christie.
The 9th District lawmakers’ legislation (S-114) will expand upon current law which previously only authorized municipalities to provide free or reduced beach badges to; (1) persons 65 or older; (2) certain disabled individuals and; (3) children under the age of 12.
Following the signing of their legislation, the 9th District Delegation issued the following statement:
“The signing of our legislation marks nearly a decade-long effort by the 9th District Delegation to ensure that municipalities had the legal right to extend the courtesy of free or reduced-priced beach badges to active military personnel.
“As coastal Legislators, we felt it important to remove any legal impediment that would cause a municipality to be hesitant to offer this courtesy, fearful that some unpatriotic person looking for attention would bring legal action against the municipality.
“It is important to note that our legislation is permissive, meaning that municipalities will not be required to offer this courtesy, but will now be free to do so without concern over potential lawsuits.
“We were pleased that this measure passed both Houses unanimously with strong bipartisan sponsorship. This support included the Chairmen of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee from each House, Senator James Beach and Assemblyman Jack Conners, who were pivotal in advancing this legislative initiative.
“In the end, the most important thing is that the amended law will serve to benefit our active military personnel and allow for greater recognition of their courage, sacrifice and heroism through which they protect the very freedoms we enjoy everyday.”
Members of the 9th District Delegation proudly serve on both the Senate and Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. Connors, Rumpf and Gove are also the prime sponsors of several other veteran legislative initiatives, including a measure that would authorize free hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and free admission to State parks and forests for individuals with certain types of military service.