Closer Look at the Budget Standoff New Jersey Government Shutdown Drags Into Third Day - NBC New York

Closer Look at the Budget Standoff New Jersey Government Shutdown Drags Into Third Day

Gov. Christie, meanwhile, spent part of Sunday lounging with his family at a beach in a state park he had ordered closed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Beachgoers Diverted as NJ Government Shutdown

    State beaches and parks remain closed as lawmakers work on health care bill. Ken Buffa reports. (Published Sunday, July 2, 2017)

    What to Know

    • New Jersey's state government shut down when lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a health insurance bill in the budget

    • Gov. Christie ordered nonessential services, including state parks and the motor vehicle commission, to close beginning Saturday

    • A special session was held Monday morning, but there's no resolution in sight

    While Gov. Chris Christie was busy catching heat Monday for his family time on a beach to which he had blocked public access, a stalemate over the state's budget between the Republican and the Democrat-controlled Legislature stretched into a third day without a resolution in sight. 

    Spokesman Brian Murray said the governor was back in Trenton on Monday, a day after he was photographed by NJ.com at a closed state park lounging in a beach chair in sandals, shorts and a T-shirt. 

    State parks are shut down along with other nonessential state services, including state courts and the motor vehicle offices where people go to get driver's licenses. Tens of thousands of state workers are furloughed until Christie signs off on a state budget. 

    Here's a closer look at the standoff over the $34.7 billion budget: 

    Liberty State Park Closes Amid NJ Government Shutdown

    [NY] Liberty State Park Closes Amid NJ Government Shutdown

    Liberty State Park in Jersey City has closed and the mayor moved the Fourth of July fireworks show amid a government shutdown. Rana Novini reports.

    (Published Sunday, July 2, 2017)

    BATTLE OF EGOS

    On the surface the budget stalemate revolves around Christie's desire to overhaul Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, but also in play are the strong personalities of the three principals responsible for passing the budget. 

    Christie, the brash, tell-it-like-it-is former federal prosecutor whose presidential campaign derailed in part because President Donald Trump played that role better, has staked his final year as governor on overhauling the nonprofit insurer in exchange for his support of more than $300 million worth of Democratic spending priorities. 

    Christie describes himself as "Mr. Reasonable" but won't waive his line-item authority that has some Democrats worried. 

    Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney is a former ironworker and current union boss as well as the top elected Democrat for the past eight years. He's holding the line on Horizon because he trusts Christie will make good on a gentleman's agreement not to line-item veto Democratic priorities. 

    And Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is a onetime plumber and code-enforcement official from Hudson County, long considered one of the state's hardest-edged political regions, known for old-school party boss politics. Prieto's speakership is under threat from another lawmaker who's already announced a bid against him. 

    "Egos have to go out the door," Sweeney said, adding there's no place for drawing lines in the sand. 

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    HORIZON MEETING

    Prieto and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield chief executive Bob Marino exited a meeting with Sweeney after about an hour Monday and described the talks as "good," but offered no details. 

    Democratic state Sen. Joe Vitale authored the compromise Horizon bill and was also in the meeting. 

    "I wouldn't say we're any closer, but we're not farther apart," Vitale said. 

    New Jersey on Brink of Government Shutdown

    [NY] New Jersey on Brink of Government Shutdown

    Lawmakers in New Jersey on Friday had to decide on a budge or face plunging the state into an all-out shutdown at midnight. Brian Thompson reports.

    (Published Saturday, June 1, 2017)

    Sweeney says it's worth passing the Horizon legislation to get the spending priorities, including $150 million in revamped education spending that he fought for. 

    But he said that the shutdown won't be over immediately, if a compromise is reached, because the bill would still have to go through committee for a vote. 

    Prieto says it's not worth tweaking the insurer as congressional Republicans contemplate their own health care overhaul. He also says the changes could lead to premium increases. 

    The Assembly remained open, but deadlocked on a budget vote. 

    Christie argues that the company can be subject to legislation because it was established by statute and four of its board members are appointed by the governor. 

    The company opposes the changes and disagrees with Christie's reading of the law. 

    New Jersey Government Shutdown Deadline Looms

    [NY] New Jersey Government Shutdown Deadline Looms

    A budget battle going on in New Jersey is one that could impact your Fourth of July plans. Tracie Strahan reports.

    (Published Saturday, June 1, 2017)

    ___ 

    CASINOS AT RISK?

    New Jersey officials are looking for ways to ensure that Atlantic City's casinos can remain open if the shutdown extends past Friday. 

    A 2008 law passed after the state's last government shutdown allowed casinos to remain open for up to seven days of a government shutdown. 

    But lawmakers and regulators are looking for ways to prevent the casinos from having to shut down if the impasse continues beyond Friday just as they are regaining momentum after a disastrous three-year period that saw five of the 12 casinos shut down. 

    Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, an Atlantic City-area Democrat, introduced a bill Friday that would let the casinos stay open throughout a state government shutdown.

    State Government Shutdown Looms in NJ

    [NY] State Government Shutdown Looms in NJ

    There will be a state government shutdown in New Jersey if legislators don't agree on a budget by midnight Friday. Brian Thompson reports.

    (Published Thursday, June 29, 2017)

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