Heres why Chris Christie shut down state government... +
So exactly why did Christie shut down state government? TRENTON - While you were sleeping, Gov. Chris Christie and the New Jersey Legislature late Friday night failed to reach an agreement on a new state budget as they fought over a wholly unrelated piece of legislation that would affect the state's largest health insurance company. Without a budget in place just after the strike of midnight, the governor signed an order to shut down most functions of state government. New Jersey requires a budget to be signed by June 30 every year.State budgets usually include wheeling and dealing between the governor, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and state Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Gloucester) on spending and other priorities. This time, they couldn't agree. And without a budget in place, the state doesn't have money to operate and the governor can shut everything down. Christie told state lawmakers he would keep intact the Democrats' proposed budget containing an extra $350 million for schools, legal aid for the poor, and other programs if they supported two of his priorities. The first would be legislation to use lottery proceeds to reduce the pension obligations to public workers. That went down easy.The real fight erupted over Christie's demand that the state dictate how much money not-for-profit Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is allowed to keep in a reserve fund before it must turn it over to a fund for public health causes.