Bill would let NJ towns make beach access free for all veterans and families – Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat

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Point Pleasant Beach waterfront, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (Photo: Daniel Nee)

A bill sponsored by the North Ocean County State Legislative Delegation would expand a law that allows local governments to offer free beach access to serving members of the military to all veterans.

Legislation sponsored by 10th District lawmakers that would give coastal towns the option of offering free or discounted beach access to veterans, their spouses and children was approved today by the Commission of military affairs and veterans of the Assembly. The bill is sponsored by MPs John Catalano and Gregory P. McGuckin and by State Senator James Holzapfel in the upper house.

The panel unanimously adopted the bill, A-4870, sponsored by MPs Greg McGuckin and John Catalano, and the identical bill by Senator Jim Holzapfel, S-1454.

Currently, municipalities are authorized by ordinance to provide free or discounted beach access to active military service members and their families. Cities may also offer free beach access to seniors. The bill extends courtesy to all who have ever served in the armed forces.

“We want to welcome our veterans who were willing to risk their lives for our freedoms on our award-winning beaches,” said Holzapfel, who has been fighting for the bill since 2015. “It’s because of dedication and commitment of our servicemen and women whose freedoms we as Americans enjoy.

During the summer 2021 season, daily adult beach badges ranged from $ 5 at Long Branch and Barnegat Light to $ 12 at Lavallette and Avon-by-the-Sea. These prices exclude parking fees, which are charged in some municipalities.

“Those who have served our country shouldn’t have to think twice before driving to shore with their families,” Catalano said. “When soldiers are on duty, their spouses and children also make sacrifices. They should be free to enjoy our New Jersey beaches.

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