NJ government shuts down over budget gridlock

New Jersey’s government shut down on Friday at midnight after legislators failed to pass a budget before the July 1 deadline amid a political standoff. Linda So reports.


For the first time in over a decade, New Jersey’s government shut down on Friday night after Governor Chris Christie and state lawmakers failed to pass a budget.

The deadlock prompted by a political standoff over a plan, backed by Christie, to take money from the state’s biggest health insurance company to fund drug addiction services.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Democrat, says the plan is bad public policy and should not be considered until after a budget is passed.

During the shutdown, essential services including health and safety operations as well as New Jersey Transit will continue to operate.

But all non-essential state services are closed. That means people will be locked out of state parks and unable to obtain birth and marriage certificates or process unemployment claims.

The shutdown could be short-lived however as Christie has called a special legislative session for 11 Saturday morning to continue working on a deal.