Home / World / The Latest: Christie signs $34.7B budget after impasse – Washington Post

The Latest: Christie signs $34.7B budget after impasse – Washington Post

By Associated Press,

TRENTON, N.J. — The Latest on New Jersey’s budget stalemate (all times local):

2:40 a.m.

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie has ended a three-day state government shutdown and signed a $34.7 billion budget along with legislation to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer.

Christie signed the legislation early on Independence Day after a deal was announced on Monday with Democratic leaders of the Legislature. His action brings to a close the first state government shutdown on his watch in two terms and the first since 2006.

The governor also signed legislation making over health insurer Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.

State parks and beaches had been closed to the public even though Christie and his family were photographed lounging and sunning themselves on a beach over the weekend. Christie has ordered all closed state parks and beaches to reopen for the Fourth of July.

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1:35 a.m.

New Jersey’s Democrat-led Legislature has passed a $34.7 billion budget that Republican Gov. Chris Christie says he’ll sign to end a three-day government shutdown.

The Assembly and Senate passed the budget early Tuesday morning.

The successful vote came after Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced a deal on the spending plan.

The deal includes more than $300 million in Democratic spending priorities and overhauls the state’s largest health insurer, something Christie wanted.

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11:15 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s saddened a budget deal has come three days late but he’ll sign it right away, ending a government shutdown.

The Republican governor says he has ordered all closed state parks to reopen for the Fourth of July. State parks and beaches had been closed to the public even though Christie and his family were photographed lounging and sunning themselves on a beach over the weekend.

Christie says state government will open on July 5, after the holiday. He says state workers will get a paid holiday tomorrow at his request.

Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced the deal earlier Monday. The deal calls for a $34.7 billion budget that includes more than $300 million in Democratic spending priorities and is part of an agreement to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer.

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10:50 p.m.

New Jersey Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto say they have a budget deal to end the state’s government shutdown.

Sweeney and Prieto unveiled the deal at a joint news conference on Monday at the statehouse.

The deal calls for a $34.7 billion budget that includes more than $300 million in Democratic spending priorities and is part of an agreement to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer.

Sweeney says Republican Gov. Chris Christie has agreed to the deal.

Christie is holding a news conference later.

The Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield legislation calls for annual audits of the nonprofit’s reserve level, sets a range for their reserves and requires excess to be spent on policyholders.

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3:25 p.m.

New Jersey’s Democratic assembly speaker says he’s drafting a bill to address the state’s largest health insurer as lawmakers try to break through a budget stalemate that has led to a government shutdown.

But Vincent Prieto says he can’t provide specific details just yet.

Prieto told The Associated Press that he met Monday with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield chief executive Bob Marino and “we got some good concepts.”

When asked if a deal will be reached, Prieto smiled and crossed his fingers.

The budget stalemate centers on Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s desire for legislation to overhaul Horizon.

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2:30 p.m.

New Jersey lawmakers are meeting with the head of the state’s largest insurer as they try to break through a budget stalemate that has led to a government shutdown.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield chief executive Bob Marino exited a meeting with Democratic Senate President Steve 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. He says “progress” was made and that another meeting was planned for later Monday.

The budget stalemate centers on Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s desire for legislation to overhaul Horizon.

Sweeney and Christie back a Senate bill but Prieto is opposed, holding back approval of the state’s $34.7 billion budget.

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Noon

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney says there’s not enough time Monday to end the state government shutdown.

He said at a statehouse news conference that even if a compromise is reached after a meeting scheduled with Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, that it must go through committee for a vote.

The budget stalemate centers on Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s desire for legislation to overhaul Horizon.

Sweeney and Christie back a Senate bill but Prieto is opposed, holding back approval of the state’s $34.7 billion budget.

Sweeney and Prieto are scheduled to meet with Horizon CEO Bob Marino on Monday.

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8:20 a.m.

Gov. Chris Christie is defending his use of a beach closed to the public during New Jersey’s government shutdown, saying he had previously announced his vacation plans and the media had simply “caught a politician keeping his word.”

The Republican governor was photographed Sunday by NJ.com at Island Beach State Park sitting on a beach chair in sandals and a T-shirt before flying to talk to reporters in Trenton.

Christie tells WTXF-TV in Philadelphia on Monday that he had earlier said he planned to be at the state-owned governor’s beach house regardless of whether there was a shutdown.

He says the media “caught a politician keeping his word” and adds New Jersey “has beaches for 120 miles” so there are plenty of options for anyone wanting a beach day as the Fourth of July approaches.

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12:30 a.m.

New Jersey’s budget stalemate between Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrat-controlled Legislature is smoldering with the state government shut down and state parks closed to the public as the Fourth of July approaches.

Christie spent part of Sunday lounging with his family at a beach in a state park he had ordered closed. He said he’d sign any budget lawmakers sent to him and blamed the shutdown of nonessential services on Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.

Christie says he’d consider the Democratic budget along with legislation to overhaul the state’s biggest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. He says without the Horizon legislation he has called for he’d line item veto $350 million of the Democratic priorities.

Prieto is holding open a deadlocked vote on the Assembly floor on the $34.7 billion budget.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: world

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