Belated New Jersey budget passes, ending most of the shutdown

Sunday, July 9, 2006

New Jersey — At around 7p.m. EDT July 8, Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine signed a 30-billion USD budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

Due to strife between the Governor and the majority-holding New Jersey Democratic Party in the New Jersey General Assembly, the budget was not passed before the previous one lapsed. Because of clauses in the New Jersey State Constitution, the government cannot spend money without a full budget being approved beforehand.

As a result of this, Corzine shut down large swaths of state government, kept essential officers working without pay, and declared a statewide state of emergency.

The disagreement between the statehouse and Drumthwacket was over how to deal with the 4.5 billion USD budget deficit: Corzine advocated raising the sales tax from 6% to 7%, the Assemblyers refused for a time. Under the final budget, the increase is implemented. Corzine states that all of the increased revenue will go towards covering the hole, while Assemblers want some of it to offset a planned decrease in the property tax

Following the promulgation of the budget, Corzine then signed another executive order allowing the government to begin resuming normal operations. One of the first results of the budget's passing was the resumption of gambling in Atlantic City, which requires state monitors. The remainder of closed agencies and departments will come online again in the next two days; all government should be back to normal by July 10.