Budget Impasse Shuts Down NJ Government, Closes Parks on Holiday Weekend

Posted July 03, 2017

A group of Cub Scouts were even forced to leave a camp site in Cheesequake State Park in Old Bridge, New Jersey, as all parks were also closed.

The budget battle is centering around how to fund services to fight drug addiction within the state.

Officials in New Jersey and ME ordered their state governments to be shut down after legislators and executives failed to agree on budget deals.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has opened voting on a budget in an effort to pass the spending plan before a state government shutdown but lawmakers are deadlocked.

"I've been the one that's been trying to negotiate", Prieto told reporters after midnight. "And let's do it today and then go home".

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield does business in New Jersey. In a statement to Fox 5, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said, "Gov. Christie and the legislators who won't vote "yes" on the budget are responsible for this unacceptable shutdown".

Prieto says he blames those abstaining for closing down the government.

This isn't the first time Christie has been criticized for his vacation plans.

"None of this should be tied to the budget", he said during a televised afternoon press conference.

He called himself "Mr. Reasonable".

Prieto, D-32nd of Secaucus, called a budget vote shortly before 7:30 p.m. Friday, but the measure received only 26 yes votes, far short of the 41 needed to pass the measure. "The budget is a document that already has been vetted. nothing should be held hostage". I will not tax them anymore and in my budget overall taxes were decreased. Casinos, which are regulated by the state, remain open.

NJ Lawmakers Work on Budget after Government Shutdown
New Jersey governor Chris Christie catches some sun on beach he shut down

Technically, the state Assembly is still in session from Thursday and members have been leaving each day for recesses. Space's vote remained the same as the day before. However, there is no word yet on when we should see that happen. Residents were no longer able to buy tickets for two multistate lotteries, and at least one credit rating agency warned that the state's rating could be lowered to junk, below any other state. "They're both backed into a corner and have no wiggle room".

On busy summer mornings, Solazzo says, cars heading toward the park jam the state roadway. "We hope they can find a compromise".

At midnight the current fiscal year budget expires.

In exchange, the governor has agreed to about $350 million in Democratic spending priorities, including $150 million in education aid across the state.

"I'm confused about it", said Ronah Harris, who traveled from Princeton to spend the holiday weekend at Island Beach.

"This is no way to lead, and the people of New Jersey deserve better". But Sweeney said Sunday that Prieto and Horizon CEO Bob Marino have ignored his requests to sit down and talk about how to tweak the legislation.

The state Senate passed a bill that allows the state government to control how much Horizon keeps in its surplus fund before it must contribute to a public health fund. If he doesn't get the lottery and Horizon bills along with it, however, he said he will veto the extra funding.

"The governor has a residence at Island Beach". Had the budget not been approved by Saturday, a partial state government shutdown would have been necessary.

Christie, a former GOP presidential candidate and adviser to President Donald Trump who is leading the White House's anti-opioid commission, announced the shutdown of the state's nonessential services in an executive order. It does not affect essential services, such as the New Jersey State Police, psychiatric hospitals, of NJ Transit operations.

"I am not happy about this", he said.