Ocean County Lawmakers Who Pushed $15,000 Mass Gathering Fines Now Want Parents at Indoor Sports Events

TOMS RIVER, NJ – New Jersey’s 10th legislative district contingent in the Trenton Statehouse that last year wanted $15,000 fines for large gatherings are now asking New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to allow parents to attend indoor sporting events this winter.

10th District Legislators, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano are calling on Governor Murphy to ease restrictions and allow spectators to attend indoor children’s sporting events. The lawmakers believe that comprehensive safety protocols can be put in place to allow parents to watch their children participate in events such as ice hockey, basketball, swimming and wrestling.

Last year those three introduced a bill in Trenton that sought to harshly penalize New Jersey residents who violated Governor Murphy’s lockdown orders.  That bill called for a financially crippling $15,000 fine against residents who exceeded the governor’s indoor and mass gathering limits.

“Sports are a large part of a child’s educational development and extracurricular experience and many of these students rely on the support from their parents and guardians during their competitions,” said McGuckin, who spearheaded the $15,000 fine, sought to penalize New Jerseyans disobeying Governor Murphy’s executive orders. “We are asking the Governor to allow spectators to attend children’s sporting events as long as safety measures can be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The shift in policy is not surprising as all three officials are running for re-election in this year’s June Republican primary election.