Christie shuts down NJ government over budget impasse – Press of Atlantic City

TRENTON — New Jersey’s state government has shut down for the first time under Republican Gov. Chris Christie after he and the Democrat-led Legislature failed to reach an agreement on a budget by the deadline at midnight Friday.

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.

The shutdown means state parks and nonessential services such as the Motor Vehicle Commission are shutting down just ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Prisons, the state police and casinos will remain open.

Christie, who is deeply unpopular in the state as he heads into his final six months in office, made supporting a $34.7 billion budget that includes 73 Democratic priorities contingent on a proposal to overhaul the nonprofit Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, aiming to tap into their surplus to finance drug treatment.

Christie said at a news conference on Friday that he and Senate Democrats, who have agreed with the governor, still had not reached a deal with Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, who refuses to consider the Horizon legislation.

Prieto held a vote Friday on the budget that remained deadlocked with only 26 yes votes out of 41 needed to prevail.

Christie has called the Legislature into session for Saturday.

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie has ordered the state government to shut down after he and the Democrat-led Legislature failed to reach an agreement on a new budget.

The shutdown means state parks and nonessential services like the Motor Vehicle Commission are shutting down just ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Prisons, the state police and casinos will remain open.

This is Christie’s first government shutdown in his two terms, and the first since 2006 under Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.

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