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New Law Provides Free or Reduced Beach Access to Military Vets

The legislation signed on Tuesday expands towns' ability to provide access to active duty National Guard members.

Patch File photo
Patch File photo
Towns along the Jersey Shore are now permitted by law to provide beach access to military veterans for free or at a reduced cost.

Gov. Chris Christie signed bills S-958 and A2042 into law on Tuesday. The  legislation, which takes effect immediately, expands current law that permitted towns to provide free or discounted beach tags to active duty New Jersey National Guard members.

“Military veterans have sacrificed so much for our country. While we are at the shore in the summer enjoying vacation time with our families and friends, our military personnel are on the battlefields fighting for our freedoms,” said State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic), a co-sponsor of the bill. “When members of our Armed Forces have completed their service to this country, the least we can do is to offer these men and women free access to our beaches. This law is a great way for municipalities to show their appreciation to our troops and to establish their community as ‘veteran-friendly.’”

The bill passed the State Senate by a vote of 39-0 with one abstension on Jan. 9.

Ocean City passed an ordinance in October 2011 that waived beach tag fees for active-duty members of the military. A similar local ordinance would be necessary before the privilege could be extended to all veterans.

In 2010, a VFW group in Sea Isle City partnered with the municipality to purchase beach tags for veterans because municipalities weren’t permitted to do so on their own. That led to the introduction of the legislation that was signed into law this week.

“The brave men and women who have served in the Armed Forces deserve the highest level of respect and honor from our state,” said State Sen. Jim Beach (D-Burlington/Camden), a co-sponsor of the bill and the chair of the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. “State law already allows shore towns to offer free and reduced cost beach tags to active duty military personnel. Extending their authority so they can offer this benefit to military veterans is the right thing to do for these men and women and a small way we can thank them for their service.”

Grunt January 27, 2014 at 09:00 AM
Promising veterans a free beach badge is real nice. I have seen so much useless ”I support the veterans” legislation in recent years and it makes me sick. We need to stop the attempts of our politicians to garner votes with feel good legislation and focus on enforcing and funding what veterans were promised in return for their service to this country. Like no cost medical care and treatment for our Wounded Warriors. They should not have to be taken care of by non-profit volunteer organizations and food stamps. Retired military are having there benefits routinely reduced while raising the out of pockets expenses. Keep your feel good fluff. Just give me what we were promised!
Charlene January 27, 2014 at 10:34 AM
I think it is a great idea and shows that O.C. finally cares but what about the people who live here year round.. I refuse to pay for a beach tage.
OCnjOC January 27, 2014 at 12:26 PM
Frank and Walt don't seem to have any valid comments that addresses the issue of government picking and choosing who to honor and what charities to support. They just like to make personal attacks against anyone who raises the issue. That is why the taxes are so high and the government is in such bad shape. It is your fault Frank and Walt.
jerseytomato January 27, 2014 at 05:59 PM
Grunt - you are so correct. Our men and women in uniform just took a major hit with last months cuts to military pensions and benefits. Mind you, not one Congress person or Senate person voted to give up a single red cent or perk from their own packages. Mind you, they increase spending to take care of illegals and welfare mongers - but not our men and women in uniform. It is sick. Today, most of our politicians, may they be state, local or Federal, pander to those who've never pledged an oath to this country, unwed mothers, and the unemployed, while stirring up the race debate.
Bruno January 27, 2014 at 09:34 PM
Beach belong to public. So why we have to pay for accessing the beach. We already paying our taxes. I think this is act of discrimination against the people with lower income. It means if you poor then it is no beach enjoyment for you.we should take this Metter to our Supreme Court

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