Chris Christie’s beach vacation has become a point of controversy and heated debate. According to reports, the New Jersey Governor and his family spent the Fourth of July weekend at a state park — which he closed to the public just hours before his vacation began.
On Friday, Christie signed an executive order to shut down the New Jersey government for the first time in 11 years. As reported by The Hill, the shutdown was prompted by ongoing budget disputes between Democratic and Republican legislative leaders.
According to state law, New Jersey’s budget must be agreed upon on or before the new fiscal year begins on June 30. However, Democratic and Republican lawmakers are at a stalemate.
One of the most prominent disagreements involves a provision — which would compel Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield to fund a drug addiction treatment program. The provision, which was proposed by Governor Christie, is expected to ease the state’s opioid addiction crisis. However, critics argue that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield would be forced to increase premiums for an estimated “3.8 million policyholders” to fund the program.
On Saturday, Christie announced the government shutdown was “necessary to maintain the protection, safety, and well-being of the people of New Jersey.” The governor specifically blamed Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto for unnecessarily stalling budget negotiations and “forcing the closure of New Jersey government and inconveniencing everyone living in and visiting our state.”
In addition to state government offices, Governor Christie ordered beaches and state parks closed until the budget issue is resolved.
Although the closures forced thousands of tourists to cancel their plans for the holiday weekend, Chris Christie’s beach vacation proceeded as planned. As reported by New York Daily News, the governor and his family spent the weekend at New Jersey’s Island Beach State Park — while other families were turned away at the gates.
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 2, 2017
When questioned about his family’s exclusive access to the state park and beach, Chris Christie said, “That’s just the way it goes.” Although the governor and his family stayed at their residence at the state park, Christie insists they did not use any of the services customarily provided by the park.
[Featured Image by Borkin Vadim/Shutterstock]