Sen. Gopal: Serious Concerns with ABC's New Brewery Regulations

Senator Vin Gopal is raising strong concerns on the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s new regulations on the state’s breweries.

These regulations, which severely limit the scope of breweries’ operations, include a limit 25 “special events,” such as paint and sip nights, trivia nights, live televised sporting events and live music nights; a limit of 12 special permits a year to sell products off the brewery premises such as festivals, athletic events, and other civic events; a limit of 52 private parties (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries) a year; and a requirement to electronically notify the ABC 10 days prior to holding the event.

“These regulations are extraordinarily restrictive, placing an undue strain on our breweries,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

“We must focus our efforts on supporting small businesses, not limiting their ability to attract customers. Special events are vital to these small businesses, which employ numerous hardworking local residents. Without the ability to attract new customers and grow their business, local breweries will be stifled and stunted. I strongly encourage the ABC to reconsider these ill-conceived regulations and give our breweries the chance to grow and thrive. I will be speaking with ABC as well as seeing what we can do legislatively to remove some of these restrictions.”

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Gopal, Diegnan Bill to Prohibit NJ Transit from Issuing a Law Enforcement Badge to Anyone Who is Not a Law Enforcement Officer Advances

Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senate Transportation Chair Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. that would prohibit the New Jersey Transit Corporation from issuing a law enforcement badge to NJ Transit board members, Port Authority Commissioners and local and state elected officials cleared the Senate Thursday.

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Gopal Bill Supporting Entry-Level Manufacturing Training Benefiting Veterans and Residents Advances

A bill sponsored by New Jersey Legislative Manufacturing Caucus Chairman Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Steve Oroho that would make a General Fund supplemental appropriation of $250,000 to the Department of State for the purpose of funding the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc advanced from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on September 24.

“Many residents and veterans in our state struggle to find long-term employment with a decent wage,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth).

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Gopal, Diegnan Bill to Prohibit NJ Transit from Issuing a Law Enforcement Badge to Anyone Who is Not a Law Enforcement Officer Clears Committee

Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senate Transportation Chair Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. that would prohibit the New Jersey Transit Corporation from issuing a law enforcement badge to NJ Transit board members, Port Authority Commissioners and local and state elected officials cleared the Senate Transportation Committee.

“The only people who should be issued a law enforcement badge are individuals who are trained to be law enforcement officers.  I am glad that that distinction will be clarified in this piece of legislation,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth).

 

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Gopal, Diegnan Bill Would Authorize Special Combat Action Badge License Plates Clears Committee

Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senate Transportation Chair Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. that would authorize special Combat Action Badge license plates cleared the Senate Transportation Committee today.  The license plate would display the words, "Combat Action Badge" and the Combat Action Badge emblem.

“This badge is relatively new in the Army.  Those who have been awarded this distinction should have it publicized and display it with honor in order to educate others on its significance,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth).  “Allowing for veterans to display that they have seen combat on a license plate will allow them to cherish the pride of knowing they served their country.”

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Gopal, Houghtaling & Downey Honor Local Teen

Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey honored 16-year-old Colts Neck High School student William Dean for his commitment to supporting New Jersey’s veterans.

On Sept. 5, Senator Vin Gopal presented William with a resolution on behalf of the 11th Legislative District honoring his efforts to support local veterans, which include countless hours of volunteering and raising over $26,000 to support veterans organizations throughout the state.

“This inspiring young man displays levels of selflessness, community-mindedness and determination that are far beyond his 16 years. I was extremely proud to have the opportunity to meet William and thank him for all he has done for our brave veterans. I look forward to seeing what William achieves in the future — I am certain he will go on to accomplish great things,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

“We commend William for all he has done to better his community and for the veterans he works so tirelessly to support. We are extremely impressed with all he has accomplished at such a young age and we are grateful that his future goals include serving his country in the United States Navy. Thank you, William, for all you have done and best of luck in your future,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling.

“William is an incredible young man who has wholeheartedly committed himself to service. From his work with his school’s ROTC to the over 300 hours of community service he has performed, William sets a stunning example of what it means to serve your community. We are extremely proud of this young man and were honored to have the opportunity to celebrate his accomplishments,” said Assemblywoman Downey.

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Sen. Gopal’s Town Hall A Great Success

School security, affordability and consolidation were among the key issues discussed at a community forum for seniors, hosted by Senator Vin Gopal on Thursday, Aug 30.

Residents packed the room at the community forum at Tinton Falls Town Hall, where attendees had the opportunity to meet the Senator and speak to him directly about their concerns.

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Sen. Gopal Bill Would Promote Joint Contracts

In an effort to implement responsible spending and reduce property taxes, Senator Vin Gopal introduced legislation that would allow municipalities and boards of education to jointly contract for certain group insurance benefits for their employees.

The bill (S2899) would provide these municipal bodies with increased flexibility to allow them to work together to lower costs. This savings would, ultimately, be passed on to residents in the form of decreased property tax rates.

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Sen. Gopal, Asm. Burzichelli To Introduce Bill Supporting Horse Racing Industry

In an effort to support the local horse racing industry, Senator Vin Gopal and Assemblyman John Burzichelli will introduce a bill (S2312/A4413) that designates $20 million from the General Fund to the New Jersey Racing Commission for allocation to the thoroughbred and standardbred industries for horse racing purse subsidies.  

“The horse racing industry is critical to the economy of Monmouth County, which is home to Monmouth Park and Freehold Raceway,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “New Jersey’s horse racing industry has faced challenges in recent years. Monmouth Park has struggled since losing a $17 million annual payment from the state’s casino industry to supplement purses in 2011, while the thoroughbred industry has been unable to keep pace with tracks in neighboring states with purse structures bolstered by casino dollars. We cannot allow venues like Monmouth Park to falter. In ensuring this vital industry is properly supported, we secure direct and indirect jobs for countless hardworking New Jersey residents and maintain a stable local economy.”

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Sen. Gopal Applauds Issuance of Funding for Infrastructure Projects

Senator Vin Gopal applauds the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s issuance of $10,302,964 in funding to assist the county in completing infrastructure improvements at the municipal level.

“Our roadways and bridges are heavily utilized, particularly during the summer when our tourism industry surges. It is imperative that we work to ensure our infrastructure is properly maintained to provide safe and smooth travel throughout Monmouth County and to avoid major repair projects that could close down a roadway or bridge,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

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Sen. Gopal Supports Executive Order to Close State Lands to 2018 Bear Hunt

On Monday, Aug. 20, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to close all public lands under the Department’s jurisdiction to bear hunting for the 2018 season. This includes all State forests, State parks, State recreation areas, State historic sites, State Wildlife Management Areas and State natural areas.

In response, Senator Vin Gopal issued the following statement:

“Our beautiful state lands are pristine testaments to New Jersey’s history and natural beauty. They are not hunting grounds,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

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Sen. Gopal Bill to Revitalize Fort Monmouth Signed Into Law

 

On Friday, August 17 Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill introduced by Senator Vin Gopal to distribute additional liquor licenses to the three host communities surrounding Fort Monmouth.

The bill  (S2498) allows for the issuance of 12 additional licenses to properties in Fort Monmouth, which comprises Tinton Falls, Oceanport, and Eatontown. Tinton Falls will receive two additional licenses; Oceanport will receive four licenses; and Eatontown will receive six additional licenses.

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Handlin and Gopal Empower & Inform Residents at Fraud Panel

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and Senator Vin Gopal, in a bipartisan effort, hosted a fraud panel to educate residents on the dangers of scams and teach them how they can protect themselves.

The panel was held on Wednesday, Aug. 15 in the Warner Student Life Center at Brookdale Community College. The Legislators were joined by a panel of experts who shed light on the types of scams that target residents and shared advice for combating these malicious fraudsters. The panelists included Melanie Hazim of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Christine Newman of AARP, Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Lori Linskey and Asbury Park Press “Press on Your Side” reporter David Willis.

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