New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shut the state’s government down Friday, after the legislature failed to pass a budget. He’s said he will convene both houses today, in order to break the deadlock, but we’ll see. With this shutdown, all tourist attractions, including 40 state parks, recreational areas, historic sites, state beaches, and Liberty State Park, were shut down just in time for the weekend before Fourth of July. Oh, and 30,000-35,0000 state workers were all furloughed. Christie decided to celebrate by taking the family on a beach vacation…to Island Beach state park, one of the state beaches that was shut down. Apparently, that’s what happens when you’re governor and the state-owned governor’s residence is there. I think he’s an asshole who was shoving it in everyone’s face that he could still go there, but that’s just me.
And I’m not the only who thinks Christie is an asshole, his Lt. Governor also thinks so:
You know it’s bad when even your allies think you are fucking up. Christie, of course, defended the shutdown, and thereby his beach vacation:
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) July 1, 2017
Christie tried to blame it all on the Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, though it is usually a deal between the governor, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, and the Assembly Speaker. But it’s all Prieto’s fault, not anyone else’s, though he does have some power. The Assembly Speaker controls which bills the 80 member Assembly will act on.
The fight over the budget happened after Christie suggested they keep the Democrat’s proposed budget with an extra $350 million for schools, legal aid for the poor, and various other programs if they supported him two of his things. The first is legislation to use lottery proceeds to reduce pension obligations for public workers. They were okay with this part. The second is where all hell broke loose: Christie wants the state to dictate how much money not-for-profit Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is allowed to keep in a reserve fund before it has to turn it over to another fund for public health causes. Sweeney was okay with this because he was protecting the budget. Prieto told Christie this was extortion and defended Horizon right to operate as it is. The bill passed the Senate Thursday and was introduced to the Assembly the same day. Prieto stated that he has no intention of allowing a vote on it. When neither side budged, the state shut down.
Sounds like all three of them are assholes.