Government

How Will Government Shutdown Impact Elizabeth Residents?

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addresses the audience at Union County College’s Cranford Campus. Credits: file photo
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ELIZABETH, NJ - Gov. Chris Christie and the state lawmakers failed to strike an agreement over a piece of health care legislation that was part of this year’s budget.

State law requires that a balanced budget must be passed by June 30. With the budget failing to get enough votes in the State Assembly last night, Gov. Christie ordered a government shutdown.

Some statewide departments and services will be affected, but county and municipal services will generally remain functional. Many state services close on the weekend and for the Fourth of July holiday, so the public may not feel the effects of this shutdown immediately.

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No road or construction projects in Elizabeth will be affected, city spokeswoman Kelly Martins said. Municipal employees will not be furloughed and the city’s municipal courts will remain open, she added.

Union County has no state parks, so local fireworks shows will be not be impacted.

State police, correctional facilities, hospitals and NJ Transit will not be affected. The state lottery and casinos will remain functional, but all Motor Vehicle Commissions and inspection agencies will be closed. Online services will still be available.

Here’s a full list of how each state department will be impacted:

Department of Environmental Protection: All state parks, recreation areas, forests, and historic sites, including Island Beach State Park and Liberty State Park, will be closed; all public events within state parks and historic sites will be canceled. The following will also be closed: permitting offices for Air, Historic Preservation, Land Use, Site Remediation, Solid Waste, and Water Supply; Green Acres and Blue Acres offices; Office of Dispute Resolution; Office of Permit Coordination; most of the Division of Fish & Wildlife (Wildlife Management Areas and online services will not be impacted); NJ Geologic Survey; and Rebuild by Design projects.

Department of Transportation: Construction will continue, as will emergency repairs and some roadside safety services. The rest areas on I-295 in Deepwater, Salem County and on I-80 in Knowlton, Warren County, will be closed.

Department of Law & Public Safety:  Juvenile Justice Commission operations, State Medical Examiner Offices, and other public safety operations will continue, but some administrative offices will be closed.

Department of Health: The public will not be able to obtain copies of birth and marriage certificates, or copies of adoptees’ original birth certificates. No new certifications or renewals will be issued for EMTs, paramedics or Certified Nursing Assistants.

New Jersey Department of Labor: Unemployment Insurance and disability determination services will remain operational. Temporary Disability Insurance claims, Wage and Hour claims, and Family Leave Insurance claims may be filed, but they will not be processed. One Stop Career Centers (state not county services) will be closed; Workers Compensation Courts will be closed. Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services will be closed.

Department of Children and Families: Child abuse hotlines, protection services and response teams will continue to operate. Schools for children with special needs will remain open.

Department of Military and Veterans Affairs: Veteran’s Haven North and South will remain in operation and National Guard will remain on call.  

Department of Banking and Insurance: All offices will be closed except the IURO (health insurance internal appeals program).

 Department of Community Affairs: Inspections related to construction codes, fire safety, fairs and fireworks displays will continue, however some public services will not be available.

Department of Corrections: Prisons and halfway houses will remain operational, although some inmate services will be impacted.

Department of Education: Katzenbach School will remain open. Phone help desks, customer service, and all other related staff-based assistance functions will be unavailable and all core public functions will be closed.

Economic Development Authority:  EDA will not process any payments to businesses from any program (such as the Business Employment Incentive Program) which funding source needs to be authorized by the FY 2018 Appropriations Act.

Department of State: The travel and tourism welcome centers will be closed.

Department of the Treasury: July 1 pension checks have been processed and mailed. Taxation call centers and walk-in facilities will be closed. The Division of Risk Management will be closed, however the scheduling of medical appointments, treatments and services for injured workers will remain ongoing.  The Division of Pensions and Benefits will be closed, although it will continue payment of health provider claims and life claims, and continue to process changes to family status for health benefits.

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