TRENTON, NJ (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey may be facing its second government shutdown in as many years as new governor Phil Murphy refuses to come to terms on a new state budget. The impasse could mean closed beaches and parks, as well as thousands of state workers furloughed as soon as July 1.
In 2017, former governor Chris Christie drew massive public criticism for basking in the sun on a closed New Jersey beach during last year’s shutdown.
If the state does not agree on a new budget within the next two weeks, the current governor may be facing a political firestorm of his own.
“The governor has given us a bill and refused to make any discussion of any changes to the bill,” State Senate president Steve Sweeney told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner. “It doesn’t work that way. He was elected governor not elected king.”
Ironically, Murphy’s battle is not about partisan politics. The new governor has been unable to work with fellow Democrats on issues including funding for New Jersey’s ailing transit system and increases to the state’s income and sales tax rates.
“Have I ever said ‘heck no, my way or the highway?’ Never,” Gov. Murphy argued during a press conference.
New Jersey residents are not pleased with the prospect of another summer shutdown. “You’re actually hurting the people who elected you,” David Chaverri of Trenton said.
Both Murphy and Sweeney say they’re ready to negotiate however, no meetings have been scheduled. If the state shuts down, sports betting – which was legalized last week – may also have to be put on hold.