NJ Governor Christie signs $34.7B budget after impasse

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — 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 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, 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.

In this July 2, 2017, photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, uses the beach with his family and friends at the governor’s summer house at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey. (ANDREW MILLS/NJ ADVANCE MEDIA VIA AP)



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