Governor Christie asks cabinet seceretaries to prepare for a government shutdown

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June 15, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

TRENTON, New Jersey: Despite Governor Chris Christie is optimistic of lawmakers getting a state budget completed by the constitutional deadline, he has asked the secretaries in his cabinet to prepare for a government shutdown in the event a budget is not complete by the June 30th deadline[1].

Governor Christie recently sent a memo to the leaders of state government departments to begin contingency planning in the event of a shutdown. Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the Governor's office, has said that the Christie Administration is prepared for any outcome. Drewniak further stated that: "a government shutdown would be costly and disruptive and must absolutely be avoided, but still we have to be responsible, prudent and prepared."[1]

In the event if the state government shuts down, the Governor must declare a state of emergency in which the state must stop incurring expenses and pay any bills until a new budget is signed into law. The last time the state government shut down was in 2006 when legislative Democrats and former Governor Jon Corzine were at an impasse over the state budget. This resulted in a week-long shutdown before a new budget plan was signed into law[1].

Also, all public employees that have roles connected to health, public safety, and welfare would work during a shutdown. Other state government departments that are deemed "non-essential" would not operate during a shutdown[1].

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