03 July, 2017
- We've been reporting New Jersey's government shutdown is dragging on without a resolution to the stalemate between a defiant Republican Gov. Chris Christie and an unmoving Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto as the state begins to feel the sting of shuttered services. The governor said he and his family plan to spend the long Independence Day holiday weekend at the governor's summer house at Island Beach State Park. The...
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said the if the shutdown continues, the city's July 4 celebration will move to Exchange Place from Liberty State Park. The state closure also won't affect the state lottery, casinos or racetracks, which are considered to be essential functions in New Jersey.
Such a fiscal debacle had been avoided since 2006, when New Jersey Democrats shut down the government in an argument over raising the state sales tax despite controlling the governorship and both chambers of the Legislature.
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.
Earlier Friday, Sue Deck said that she, her husband and two children had come to the park in their RV and had planned to fish through the weekend. Christie said that it was unlikely that such a recommendation would appear in an interim report due in 2 weeks, but "maybe" it would appear in the final report.
State Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-16th is also critical of Christie's executive order to shut down the government and his insistence that the Horizon surplus be incorporated in the state budget.
That would be Gov. Chris Christie, his wife and kids.
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Christie had initially sought to use the surplus to fund in-patient and out-patient drug-addiction treatment. He reiterated that he had compromised on the bill that ultimately passed in the Senate and that he was willing to sign a budget with the 72 Democratic priorities intact if the Assembly Speaker delivered the Horizon bill.
"I don't know if it's fair, but they are not asking for any services", Christie said during a Saturday news conference in Trenton.
Prieto held a vote Friday on the budget that remained deadlocked with only 26 yes votes out of 41 needed to prevail.
The emergency orders marked the first state government shutdown in New Jersey since 2006 and the first in ME since 1991.
Horizon opposes the proposed changes.
Prieto remained steadfast Saturday in his opposition, reiterating that he won't consider the plan as part of the budget process but would consider it once a budget is signed. "I would hate to see their reputations damaged ... by not coming to the table now and finding a solution". "It's a government for the people by the people, not for them", said one driver. "We had an opportunity to get together in rooms over those hours and hammer out a compromise, and we didn't".