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

New Jersey workers furloughed by the shutdown of the state government over the budget impasse crowd into the hallway outside the office New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine at the Statehouse in Trenton

New Jersey workers furloughed by the shutdown of the state government over the budget impasse crowd into the hallway outside the office New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine at the Statehouse in Trenton

Sound unfair? Deal with it, Christie told reporters. His group of roughly 45 - including about 25 children - had planned to camp all weekend.

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.

As of midnight July 1, all nonessential state services have been shut down in New Jersey because of a standoff between Governor Christie and democratic assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.

At a press conference earlier on Saturday, Governor Chris Christie promised that work will continue without them.

'The governor has a residence at Island Beach, ' the unconcerned politician said to the NY Post. "Others don't. That's the way it goes".

Public services from state parks to motor vehicle services offices will shut down, while the state lottery, NJ transit, police and psychiatric hospitals will remain functional.

Manno and his wife, Liz, were enjoying another state park on the beach - this one across Barnegat Inlet - Barnegat Lighthouse State Park on Long Beach Island. The latter two sites remained open. Those Democrats are willing to support the Horizon legislation in exchange for Christie's assurance that he'll sign a budget that includes an extra $350 million for their party's priorities.

The Louisiana Legislature also grappled with its state budget, approving it June 16, eight days after missing the regular session deadline.

But the speaker says the plan could lead to rate hikes and should be separate from the budget.

Christie reiterated his stance during a news conference Saturday, calling the standoff "embarrassing and pointless".

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Although that park was also closed, there was no police presence enforcing the shutdown.

Christie then called a special joint legislative session on Saturday. "It is now about transparency and accountability".

All state-run parks, recreational areas, forests, camping areas, historic sites, and beaches are now closed.

"This Facility is CLOSED Because of This Man", the signs read, listing a telephone number for Prieto's office. He actually said he is holding the budget hostage with the Horizon bill. Christie doesn't seem likely to back down, and has threatened to line-veto other items in the budget unless he gets his way. Prieto has held firm against tying the Horizon legislation to the budget vote.

"I say put the bills up for a vote and let's see what happens", he said via text from Trenton. "Others now must now do their part and fulfill their responsibilities".

The House voted 173-27 on Friday, hours after the Senate voted 43-7.

Two factions within state government are at odds over the budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which began Saturday.

IL on Saturday entered an unprecedented third year with no full state budget, as lawmakers continued meeting in Springfield.

Christie prepared for a government shutdown on Thursday when he sent a letter to his cabinet members telling them to submit contingency plans and requested a list of essentials that were necessary to maintain the "health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the State".

Information for this article was contributed by Michael Catalini and Bruce Shipkowski of The Associated Press; and by Nick Corasaniti, Jess Bidgood and Monica Davey of The New York Times.

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