NJ government shutdown looms

03 July, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • A view of the New Jersey State House the area's capitol building

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency just after midnight on Saturday and shut down the government because legislators failed to pass a budget by the annual deadline.

"It's all going to come down to when folks get up tomorrow for the July 4th weekend and drive down to Island Beach State Park to spend the day and a sign says it's closed", said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, according to a report by Politico.

LePage signed a similar order in ME, issuing a partial government shutdown through July 3 or until the newly declared state of emergency is terminated. It does not affect essential services, such as the New Jersey State Police, psychiatric hospitals, of NJ Transit operations.

The lame-duck governor himself spent Saturday in Trenton seeking to end the state budget standoff that brought about the whole mess.

Earlier in the day, Christie told reporters he understands that people may have a negative perception that his family gets to enjoy Island Beach State Park while the public can not, but he pointed out that the governor also has a state-owned residence there.

However, most of the anger on the Shore Saturday was directed not at the little-known speaker, but at the rumors that New Jersey's first family and their friends were inside the park at the governor's beach house - enjoying the surf and sun all for themselves - while the public was locked out.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he has not reached a deal with Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto over the budget and that he will meet with his Cabinet to prepare for a shutdown. While he said he would typically make his remarks from the Assembly chambers, Christie told the Legislature he was barred by Prieto.

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Some rest stops, travel and tourism centers will be closed, as well as many administrative offices in major state agencies, from the Motor Vehicle Commission to the Department of the Treasury.

"We knew this was probably coming, but it's still a shame we have to head out", Spears said.

"He's holding the budget ransom with these 24 members that have abstained, that should be voting for it, and those are the members that are shutting down government at this point in time, and they need to move that needle and change those abstentions to yeses".

Christie had initially sought to use the surplus to fund in-patient and out-patient drug-addiction treatment.

But Christie has conditioned his signing of the budget, including the Democratic priorities and additional school funding, on the passage of the Horizon legislation. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto oppose such efforts.

"Horizon is the only company that stayed in the [Obamacare] exchange". Christie said the plan to restructure Horizon was only recently presented because it had not occurred to him earlier.

"I've been coming here for 18 years". "We had an opportunity to get together in rooms over those hours and hammer out a compromise, and we didn't".

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