- The Washington Times - Monday, July 3, 2017

A Monday night budget deal in Trenton should pave the way for New Jersey residents to join Gov. Chris Christie on the state’s parks and beaches.

The New York Times reported Monday night that state legislators and Mr. Christie had ended a budget standoff, reaching a deal on health insurance that paved the way for the legislature to send Mr. Christie a budget.

The issue was arcane — the power the governor’s office holds over the state’s largest health insurer — but its impact was not.

The shutdown of non-essential state services, including state parks and beaches, became a national embarrassment for Mr. Christie when photos began circulating of him sunbathing on one of those beaches — attached to a state-owned vacation home reserved for the governor’s use.

Mr. Christie had, according to The Times, has “demanded that the insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, turn over $300 million from its reserves, and refused to approve the entire budget without a separate Horizon bill.” The details of the deal were not immediately clear, though.

But, at a Monday night news conference, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto “We’re opening the State of New Jersey again.”



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