Ciattarelli, other state legislators want Trump to reimburse NJ for visits

Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli has joined a group of New Jersey legislators seeking reimbursement for President Donald Trump’s frequent visits to the Garden State.

He and other legislators are sponsors of a resolution urging the federal government to compensate municipalities, counties and the state for police overtime and administrative assistance each time the president travels to New Jersey.

“Security in the current environment is incredibly complicated and costly,” said Ciattarelli, who represents Princeton, South Brunswick, and portions of Somerset and Hunterdon counties that make up the 16th District. “The federal government is ultimately responsible for safeguarding the president and the first family, and we’re urging Washington to assist New Jersey towns and counties with the financial responsibility.”

According to the bipartisan resolution, the president’s visit to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster in November cost the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office almost $18,000 for 208 hours of overtime. More than 100 hours of overtime for the Bedminster Police cost close to $4,000. Every time Trump visits the golf course similar fees are incurred. Trump last returned to the golf club for a one-day visit last weekend and crashed a wedding party.

“It is the right thing to do,” Ciattarelli said of the need for reimbursement. “Local and county law enforcement departments have already invested tens of thousands of dollars in overtime to keep the president safe.”

The golf club, which has two 18-hole courses, hosts weddings, banquets and other events. It will also host this year’s U.S. Women’s Open and the 2022 PGA Championship. When Trump visited Bedminster in May, he defended the visits in a tweet: “The reason I am staying in Bedminster, N. J., a beautiful community, is that staying in NYC is much more expensive and disruptive. Meetings!”