An Assembly panel on Monday approved a measure (AR-231) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Reed Gusciora, John McKeon and Paul Moriarty urging the federal government to reimburse the state, counties, and municipalities for the cost of providing security for President Trump in light of his frequent visits to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster
The resolution noted that the President’s weekend visit to his Bedminster club in November required Bedminster law enforcement officers and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office to assist in providing security for the President. According to reports, during this weekend visit the Bedminster police department logged 103 hours of overtime, costing the department $3,683 in overtime costs. It has been reported that employees of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office also worked a combined 208 hours of overtime during this visit, with a cost of $17,893.38 to county taxpayers.
“According to township officials, if President Trump visits his Bedminster golf club for seven weekends each year, it will cost the town of Bedminster an estimated $1 million over the next four years in overtime costs to help with security,” said Quijano (D-Union). “That is an outrageous price tag to ask already beleaguered New Jersey taxpayers to absorb. The federal government needs to step up and do right by our host communities.”
“Since the President seems determined to skip town nearly every weekend, the least the federal government can do is reimburse the local jurisdictions that are burdened by his visits,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “At the rate he’s been going, these costs are going to mount exponentially and New Jersey taxpayers can hardly afford it.”
County and township officials have reportedly indicated they will seek reimbursement from the federal government for the cost of providing security whenever the President stays at or visits his golf course in Bedminster.
“Expecting local taxpayers to shoulder the cost for the President’s weekend jaunts when they already have to deal with the logistical nightmare that it poses, only adds insult to injury,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “The fair thing for the federal government to do is reimburse towns for the time and money spent to help safeguard the President.”
It also has been reported that law enforcement agencies in Hawaii and Chicago received grants from the United States Department of Justice to assist with the protection of President Obama.
“As the cost of providing security for President Trump is a considerable financial burden, similar grants should be made available to reimburse New Jersey taxpayers for the cost of providing security for President Trump,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Bedminster has clearly become one of his preferred getaways and these costs are sure to mount.”
The measure was approved by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee, chaired by Gusciora, and now heads to the full Assembly. Upon approval by the full house, copies of the resolution will be filed with the Secretary of State and transmitted to the President and Vice President of the United States; the Majority and Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Speaker and Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; every member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation; and the United States Attorney General.