POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

This is what happens if NJ’s government shuts down

By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent

With the odds of a state government shutdown increasing by the hour, state workers are worrying.

A shutdown tomorrow would sideline all non-essential workers. State police, correctional and state hospital personnel would continue to work.

But state parks would be closed. So would motor vehicle commission offices and inspection stations. Unemployment offices would shut down and tens of thousands of state workers would be without paychecks for the duration of any shutdown.

Liberty State Park is expecting 150,000 people for fireworks on the Fourth of July. Island Beach State Park would be closed to beach goers, except for the governor whose official beach house could be opened at his discretion.

The last time there was a shutdown was 2006, when Gov. Jon Corzine and Speaker Joe Roberts fought over how to allocate a one-cent hike in the sales tax. That shutdown lasted a week, and even the casinos went dark because Gaming Enforcement agents were not considered essential personnel.

Since then, a law was passed designating them as essential, so the casinos would stay open this weekend if there’s a shutdown.

Here at the State House, nobody wants a shutdown, but the warring parties are digging in their heels.