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

A view of the New Jersey State House the area's capitol building

Also shielded from the shutdown are New Jersey Transit, the state lottery, casinos and racetracks. "It is clear that New Jersey needs new leadership in the Governor's Office".

The governor told reporters Saturday that the state will do what it must to function, either via federal funding or by running up a tab. His group of roughly 45 - including about 25 children - had planned to camp all weekend.

Both chambers recessed until at least Wednesday, and lawmakers say they'll try next week to find $2 billion-plus to cover the shortfall.

Henry Walker, a local fisherman, was so angry that Christie and his family were staying at the beach he let loose some colorful language the New York Times described as "a stream of unprintable invective". "Others don't. That's the way it goes". "Run for governor and you can have a residence".

"New Jersey state government, absent something happening in the next eight hours, will shut down", the Republican governor said Friday afternoon. While the gates were closed to prevent motor vehicles from entering the parking lot, this state park was full of visitors who had simply parked elsewhere and walked in through the open pedestrian entrance. 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.

Among the changes Christie wants is for the state to be able to use a portion of the nonprofit company's multibillion reserves to fund drug treatment and other programs in the state.

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.

The Legislature is back at work today.

"Government is closed over a transparency and accountability fight", he told the lawmakers. "Let's do it together and go home", he concluded.

Some Democrats in the Senate and Assembly have sided with Christie.

Jennifer Bate nearly got a ticket for trespassing at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Christie said the plan to restructure Horizon was only recently presented because it had not occurred to him earlier.

Perhaps the state budget would not be at an impasse if the governor was not spending $400 to $700 million on renovations to the Statehouse, she lamented. "Others must now do their part and fulfill their responsibilities".

If the deadline passes without a budget in place, the state will have its first shutdown since 2006 under Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.

Lack of agreement in the final days of the fiscal year is nothing new in Trenton.

At state parks on Saturday, signs announcing the parks' closures and explicitly blaming Prieto have been put up (welcome to New Jersey), but as Politico points out, it is more likely that the historically unpopular Christie will face most of state residents' ire over the shutdown.

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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