New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed the state’s budget early Tuesday morning, ending the government shutdown and reopening state parks and beaches just in time for Independence Day.
Christie made national headlines over the weekend when photos revealed that he and his family visited a state-owned beach during the government shutdown. The public criticized the governor for the visit because he had just ordered that all state parks and beaches close due to the government shutdown.
— Brian Cassella (@briancassella) July 2, 2017
The governor shut down the government Friday after the state legislature failed to pass a budget by a July 1 deadline. The shutdown kept 30,000 state employees home from work and forced state parks and beaches to close.
Today I signed my final balanced budget, delivering 2 full terms of unprecedented pension stability, fiscal responsibility & tax relief. pic.twitter.com/3oUmzENLNR
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) July 4, 2017
Christie and his family visited the governor’s summer house Sunday, located at the state-owned Island Beach State Park. The governor defended his use of the beach, saying he promised his family that, no matter, what they would visit that shore over the holiday weekend. Christie blasted the local paper for making the beach visit its front page story.
“What a great bit of journalism by The Star-Ledger,” Christie said Monday. “They actually caught a politician being where he said he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with: his wife and children and their friends. I’m sure they will get a Pulitzer for this one.”
The weekend getaway comes as the embattled governor winds down his second and final term in office. Christie, who was once a national Republican party superstar, holds the unwelcome title of having the nation’s lowest approval rating among all governors at 15 percent.
The governor, whose term ends January 2018, blamed the shutdown on the legislature, asserting that if they had sent him a budget, there would never have been a shutdown.
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