TRENTON, NJ - Day Two of the shutdown of New Jersey's government continued on Sunday after legislators failed to find a compromise on the 2018 state budget during an emergency meeting at the Statehouse Saturday.
Members of the state Assembly and Senate are not expected to meet again until Monday afternoon, ensuring the shutdown of New Jersey's state beaches, parks, and other non-essential services will continue into a third day during the July 4th holiday weekend.
Christie and his family are spending the holiday weekend at the governor's oceanfront retreat at Island Beach State Park, which has been closed to the public.
Gov. Chris Christie issued an executive order effective at midnight Saturday to shut down the New Jersey's government after he and the legislators hit an impasse.
The Governor took to Twitter claiming:
"The Legislature’s inability to approve an FY18 State Budget by the June 30th deadline has forced the closure of state government."
He also claims Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto "unnecessarily stalled the budget process..inconveniencing everyone living in our state."
State Sen. Kip Bateman, R-16th, criticized both Christie and Prieto.
"I feel terrible for the people," Bateman said after leaving Trenton on Saturday. "They should be sitting down in a room together to work this out, but no one wants to give an inch. They're both backed into a corner and no one wants to give an inch."
Bateman Votes NO on Horizon Bill, Standing Up for Ratepayers
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) voted against S-4, stating that it could pave the way for the government to raid Horizon’s reserve funds at the expense of the millions who rely on the insurer. His statement is as follows:
Sen. Kip Bateman voted no on the Horizon bill, stating that if a policy holder has overpaid in premiums, that money should go back into their pocket – not a slush fund for the government. (©iStock.com)
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but health insurance is expensive enough as it is already. If a policy holder has overpaid in premiums, that money should go back into their pocket – not into a slush fund for the government.
“I have tremendous respect for Senator Vitale and I know he worked very hard on this bill, but any proposal to raid Horizon’s reserves is completely irresponsible. There is no justification for forcing a stable insurance agency to become unstable, especially given everything that is going on in Washington.
“Nearly half of all New Jerseyans are Horizon customers, including some of our most vulnerable residents. By passing this bill, the Legislature made a risky, rushed decision that may very well put millions of people in a position where they can no longer afford health insurance.
“I will continue to stand up for my constituents to ensure that everyone can access the affordable care they need to stay healthy. I hope that my colleagues will find a way to do the same.”