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NJ government shutdown looms

NJ government shutdown looms

NJ government shutdown looms

State beaches and parks would close, including Liberty State Park, which overlooks New York City and is scheduled to host more than 100,000 people for its annual Fourth of July celebration and fireworks display on Tuesday.

That was the tongue-in-cheek response from Larry Manno of Ridgefield, Conn., when he learned Saturday that Christie and his family were spending the weekend at the governor's official retreat in Island Beach State Park even though the 10-mile long park was off limits to everyone else.

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. The state lottery and NJ Transit also remain in operation, the website reported.

"New Jersey state government, absent something happening in the next eight hours, will shut down", the Republican governor said Friday afternoon.

"We have an insurance company in this state that covers 55 percent of the market, that has no independent management, no transparency, that continues to raise rates", the governor said during a press conference Saturday.

While all of New Jersey tries to prep for Independence Day celebrations while the government is shut down, one family is prepared to enjoy quite the dream vacation.

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At issue is a push by the governor to force the non-profit insurer Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield to spend some of its billions in reserves on public health services or return money to subscribers. This budget proposal was rejected by Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, who resisted bringing the proposal to a vote ahead of the holiday weekend. Christie, get the h-- off the beach!' Christie wants a bill requiring Horizon to develop a plan for allocating its "excess" surplus to help pay for drug treatment and other care of the poor and uninsured.

"They send me a budget with Horizon and with the Lottery then these 73 spending items will stay", Christie said.

Prieto, D-32nd of Secaucus, called a budget vote shortly before 7:30 p.m. Friday, but the measure received only 26 yes votes, far short of the 41 needed to pass the measure. Back in 2010, Christie declined to cancel a trip to Disney World during a blizzard that slammed parts of New Jersey with more than two feet of snow.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy took aim at both Christie and his Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Saturday morning, saying the shutdown was unnecessary.

The first sign that New Jersey's impasse could affect national policy came at the end of a wide-ranging news conference that Christie held midday.

Horizon opposes the proposed changes. I will not tax them anymore and in my budget overall taxes were decreased. "I would hate to see their reputations damaged ... by not coming to the table now and finding a solution". "We knew they weren't able to agree on the budget".

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