NJ government shut down amid budget standoff

Christie has called for the legislature to reconvene at 2 p.m. Sunday in an attempt to break the deadlock, press secretary Brian Murray said.

The governor shut down the state government Friday night after the legislature failed to pass a budget.

He signed a state of emergency permitting the operation of essential government services such as state police, correctional facilities, welfare services, state hospitals as well as treatment facilities. Also shielded via the shutdown are brand-new Jersey Transit, the state lottery, casinos as well as racetracks.

The shutdown forces the closure of tourist attractions such as all 40 state parks, recreational areas, historic sites, state beaches as well as Liberty State Park just as the July Fourth holiday weekend gets underway.

Campers who stayed in parks Friday night were asked to leave Saturday morning, Christie said. Public events in parks were canceled.

According to nj.com, the conflict from the legislature is actually about the finances of not-for-profit Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurer.
Chris Christie Fast Facts

The state Senate passed a bill in which allows the state government to control how much Horizon keeps in its surplus fund before the item must contribute to a public health fund.

nevertheless Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Democrat, refused to allow the bill to come to a vote from the House, nj.com said.

Christie, a Republican, has promised to use his line-item veto to eliminate different bills from the budget unless the Horizon bill is actually passed, nj.com reported.

Christie addressed the legislature Saturday afternoon, saying Horizon is actually creating huge profits without any control by state government, which created Horizon from the first place.

“Horizon doesn’t want additional oversight. They don’t want additional transparency,” he said. “as well as unfortunately they have politicians who will do their bidding.”

Prieto issued a statement saying discussions about changing Horizon were not part of the budget process as well as in which Christie was trying to “extort” Horizon’s ratepayers.

“I will consider the item once a budget is actually signed. In fact, the Assembly Judiciary Committee stands ready to hold hearings starting This specific month,” Prieto said.

The shutdown began at midnight as well as the governor ordered a special joint session of the Legislature to start Saturday morning to address the budget.

The governor told reporters Saturday in which the state will do what the item must to function, either via federal funding or by running up a tab. He cited state police as an essential service.

Asked whether more services will close if a shutdown continues, he said, “Probably not.”

Christie said, “We’ve closed down everything” in which officials believe is actually “not essential.”

sy88pgw’s Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to This specific report.

NJ government shut down amid budget standoff

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