Christie Flies by State Chopper to Park Amid NJ Government Shutdown

In an interview with New Jersey 101.5 radio station on Monday, the governor said that he was excited to be spending July 4 at the beach and expected "the whole family" to show up.

The shutdown began at midnight and the governor ordered a special joint session of the Legislature to start Saturday morning to address the budget.

When asked if their state park use was fair, the outgoing Republican governor said his family's stay at gubernatorial residence did not require state services. "And let's do it today and then go home".

The National Association of State Budget Officers says the states without a budget on July 1 are: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Christie doesn't seem likely to back down, and has threatened to line-veto other items in the budget unless he gets his way. "It's a government for the people by the people, not for them", said one driver.

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

DE lawmakers have given up trying to pass a budget for the fiscal year that started Saturday as Republicans refused to support higher income taxes proposed by Gov. John Carney and fellow Democrats to fund a proposed $4 billion spending plan. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-32nd Dist., has refused to bring a bill to the Assembly floor that would allow the state to access "excess reserves" of Horizon. "It's childish behavior", said one beachgoer. Prieto has held firm against tying the Horizon legislation to the budget vote.

New Jersey State Police, prisons, Atlantic City casinos, state lottery and racetracks will remain active.

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"I can not in good conscience vote for a state budget that would cut more than $1 million from our local schools in the 24th Legislative District", Oroho said.

Instead, Prieto has opened a vote on the Democrats' $34.7 billion budget and has left the voting board open since Friday night.

Prieto does not believe that the Horizon bill should be tied to the budget. This shutdown ruined the plans of many on this big holiday weekend. Instead, the Governor threatened to eliminate school aid increases and other important programs if we do not meet his demands, and he has now shut down our state government to make good on those threats.

Christie said Prieto would not even discuss Horizon on Friday during the meeting despite urging from fellow Democrats in the room, including Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-3rd Dist., and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-37th Dist.

Christie's office said all events within the parks and sites will be canceled. "Others now must now do their part and fulfill their responsibilities".

Reaching a compromise on the Horizon bill that is palatable to both Prieto and Christie could be key to breaking the deadlock.

Among those affected were a group of Cub Scouts forced to leave a state park campsite and people trying to obtain or renew documents from the state motor vehicle commission, among the agencies closed by the shutdown.

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