Wisniewski Introduces Legislation to Close Governor’s Beach House During State Shutdowns

Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski has introduced legislation that would allow the public to rent the governor’s beach house and would prohibit use of the house in the event of a government shutdown.

“Gov. Christie said he went to the beach during the shutdown to honor his obligation to his family,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “Well, there were several other fathers in New Jersey who wanted to take their families out to that very same beach over the weekend but were turned away.”

The first bill (A-5131) would require the state-owned beach house located at Island Beach State Park – currently reserved for the governor’s exclusive use – to be offered for rent to the general public.

“The governor’s beach house is a private luxury paid for with public money. That ought to change,” said Wisniewski. “New Jersey taxpayers who want to access a resource that their hard-earned money has funded should be afforded that opportunity.”

Additionally, a second bill (A-5132) would prohibit the use of any residential property owned by the state and provided exclusively or primarily for the governor’s use – including the beach house at Island Beach State Park – during a state budget-related government shutdown. The prohibition would apply to the governor, the governor’s family or any other person or entity.

“If a beach is closed because of a state shutdown, it ought to be closed to everybody,” said Wisniewski. “Having it open to the governor and his guests while it’s closed to all the other New Jersey residents who are paying for them to be there isn’t right and it isn’t fair.”

The measure would not apply to Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion in Princeton.