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.”

SAM January 23, 2014 at 04:08 PM
CleanOC January 23, 2014 at 05:04 PM
It's about time!!!!
John E January 23, 2014 at 08:57 PM
I agree..ABOUT TIME! Home Depot and Lowes been giving 10 % discounts for years to active military people. Non active vets get special days for discounts at those stores.
Jim Starowicz January 24, 2014 at 07:22 AM
There's only one branch of Government, Federal and States, consistently doing for not only us Veterans' but also the Military personal and their Families and without the control of the Countries purse strings and combining the Cabinet agencies abilities to help where possible with their budgets. That's the whole Executive branch under President Obama. Doing what Congress, and State legislatures in passing feel patriotic support bills that are unfunded, and the people represented by them and served by the Military refuse to do, Sacrifice, especially the wealthy! The Abandoning of the missions and the purposes of, along with the once again promises to the Afghan people, first time was after the Afghan/Soviet long war, quickly after 9/11, with the Lives still being lost, those serving still being wounded!!! Giving rise to, with the rhetoric from within, not a victory over, and spread of al Qaeda type ideology criminal terrorism!!! The Cost of War, All Costs, the Responsibility of Those Served "12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility' Where were the 'offsets' to federal spending as the rubber stamping, more then the off the books wars with no-bid contracts, was going on and claiming 'patriotism' for? Decades, and wars of, of under funding the VA. With these two recent wars little was done for the Veterans of as well as the Military personal, i.e. Walter Reed as one example, and their Families, in the first years of both under the previous executive branch and those congresses. Rubber stamped war costs, off the books and on the countries credit card with no bid private contracts, including building an expensive private merc army! That's not adding in all the other rubber stamped costs of the bush administration policy wants, especially in the first six years of! Rachel Maddow: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway. How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was free? Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about it, civilians. Go about your business." 23 May 2013 "If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013 David (CBS News) Martin: "Then there's the financial cost. To date, the Pentagon has spent more than $500 billion on the war in Afghanistan. A defense spending bill the Senate is expected to pass this week would add another $80 billion to that." 17 December 2013 That's not counting those decades to come results from costs and the once again ignored, by those served, issues! The wars, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq, have yet been paid for. Nor especially the now decades to come, DeJa-Vu all over again, the of results for those sent, over and over, and the continuing under funding the Peoples Responsibility, the Veterans Administration charged with much more then just caring for the wounded, as those served ignore most of those results from!! 'Cost of War' site {real and estimated costs}: "Total US federal spending associated with the Iraq war has been $1.7 trillion through FY2013. In addition, future health and disability payments for veterans will total $590 billion and interest accrued to pay for the war will add up to $3.9 trillion." 19 March 2013 © 2011 Watson Institute, Brown University USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71
OCnjOC January 26, 2014 at 05:13 AM
More politicians trying to pump themselves up based on the achievements of others. First they put in these fees and they then try to garner support by giving gifts to specific groups. This is how the veteran's administration started. Now you have a corrupt system and veterans have to take a bus with no bathrooms to DE for a 15 consultation. the same thing happens with all the "private-public" partnerships where special groups get tax breaks in return for supporting their campaigns. These programs subvert the American system which is ironic because the veterans fought to protect that system in the first place. If there is going to be a fee then it should be same for everyone and the politicians should not pick and choose who pays and who does not. What about police, fire, teachers, etc. don't they contribute as well?
Frank January 26, 2014 at 10:21 PM
complain complain complain
walt hays January 27, 2014 at 05:55 AM
I have come to the conclusion there are certain individuals in OC that are just impossible to please- God bless the Mayor for running again to take this abuse in spite of the best of intentions.
thall6 January 27, 2014 at 08:49 AM
Chamber of Commerce - What is your take on this rule being submitted to our Vet's. There was no counter remarks in this article? Merchants can work together for this cause as well - offering reductions on their services that would off-set the beach tag permits? **Strongly stated by several ** Sacrifice should allow a few hours of a family time on the beach ** Just looking on the take of the community on this rule to counter it with funds that would be available at the centers where they have to pay this tag fee? :: Benefit Concerts or Appeals by those buying tags on the beach from patrons? ::
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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