ASSEMBLY, No. 326

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  RYAN E. PETERS

District 8 (Atlantic, Burlington and Camden)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Space, Wirths, Thomson and Karabinchak

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides free admission to State parks, forests, and beaches for certain veterans and military personnel.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning free admission to State parks, forests, and beaches for certain veterans and military personnel, and amending P.L.1983, c.324 and P.L.2007, c.275.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 12 of P.L.1983, c.324 (C.13:1L-12) is amended to read as follows:

     12.  a. The department shall not charge an admission fee for entrance into a State park or forest or a State-owned beach by:

     (1)   any resident of the State [of] who:

     (a)   is 62 or more years of age [or who] ;

     (b)   is totally disabled [or who] ;

     (c)   is an active member of the New Jersey National Guard who has completed Initial Active Duty Training; or

     (d)   is a veteran; or

     (2)   any person who is in active military service in any of the Armed Forces of the United States, or reserves component thereof, and

     (a)   is a resident of the State; or

     (b)   is not a resident of the State but is stationed in New Jersey. 

     b.    The department shall prescribe by regulation the types of evidence that may be used to qualify persons for the benefits of this [subsection] section

     c.     As used in this section [,] :

     "Initial Active Duty Training" means Basic Military Training, for members of the New Jersey Air National Guard, and Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, for members of the New Jersey Army National Guard; and

     "Veteran" means any resident of the State who has been honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active military service in any of the Armed Forces of the United States, or reserves component thereof, or any honorably discharged member of the American Merchant Marine who served during World War II and is declared by the United States Department of Defense to be eligible for federal veterans' benefits.

(cf: P.L.1993, c.304, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 1 of P.L.2007, c.275 (C.13:1L-12.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  The [department shall not charge an admission fee for entrance into a State park or forest by any veteran during an event held by a veterans' organization.  In addition, the] department shall not charge a facilities fee of any kind to any veterans' organization using a State park or forest for an event.

     (2)   The department shall not charge an admission fee or facilities fee of any kind for  entrance into a State park or forest by a person holding a driver’s license or identification card with a Gold Star Family designation issued pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2013, c.165 (C.39:3-10f6) or section 2 of P.L.1980, c.47 (C.39:3-29.3), respectively.

     b.    As used in this section [:

     "Veteran" means any resident of the State who has been honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, or any honorably discharged member of the American Merchant Marine who served during World War II and is declared by the United States Department of Defense to be eligible for federal veterans' benefits; and

     "Veterans'], “veterans’ organization" means the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, or other veterans' organizations chartered under federal law, or any service foundation of such an organization recognized in its bylaws.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.175, s.3)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would amend current law to provide free admission to State parks, forests, and beaches for certain veterans and military personnel.

      Specifically, the bill would provide free admission to veterans who are residents of the State, and to any person who is in active military service in any of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the reserves, who is a State resident or stationed in New Jersey, regardless of their residency status. Current law already provides free admission to State residents who are active members of the National Guard, totally disabled, or 62 or more years of age.