Story: Ben Wolverton
TRENTON, NJ -
Inaction on the state budget means that as of midnight Friday, the state of New Jersey was shut down. This is only the 2nd time in New Jersey’s history that the state government was shut down.
All non-essential services provided by the state government have been halted until lawmakers can agree on a budget. So what is considered non-essential services?
All state-run parks and beaches are closed. This means forests, historic camp grounds, and beaches. If the shutdown stretches into next week, it could interrupt 4th of July celebrations, though most local firework displays are municipally run. Also closed are state offices, the Motor Vehicle Commission, and Pension and Tax Offices.
Services that do remain open is a longer list, including State Police and National Guard, NJ Transit, The New Jersey Lottery, Toll Booths, Casinos, State Hospitals, Prisons, Schools, and Child Services.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto spoke to NJTV News last night as lawmakers were at an impasse. "That's what these members need to be mindful of: That when - as parks close down, the DMV office... or the employees, about 100,000 employees, are not going to get paid, this affects people's lives."
Saturday morning, NJ Governor Chris Christie gave an address on the shutdown, mainly blaming Assembly Speaker Prieto. "I can't wave a magic wand and get a budget on my desk. What I can do is stand up for the principles that we believe in."
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