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NJ Legislator Has Idea To Avoid Repeat Of ‘Beachgate’

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — There’s a push in the New Jersey legislature to ensure that the so-called “Beachgate” problem involving Governor Chris Christie never happens again.

Christie’s decision to use the beach outside the Governor’s summer house while everyone else was kept out because of the three-day budget stalemate prompted Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayerville) to act.

Part of his plan would authorize the state to lease out the house in Island Beach State Park, so anyone could have access to it.

“We have similar structures in other state parks that the state leases out to vendors who then operate it as a restaurant,” Wisniewski told KYW Newsradio. “They could operate it as a B & B. They could operate it as a banquet facility. But the state would then earn revenue from it.”

And the general public would have access to it as well.

His bill would also bar future governors from using state assets closed to the public because of a state shutdown.

“In a future state shutdown the beach, the beach house and the facilities there are not only off limits to the general public, but they’re also off limits to the Governor,” he added.

The plan would not affect the Governor’s mansion at Drumthwacket in Princeton.

Wisniewski concedes his plan is likely to go nowhere before Christie’s departure in January.

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