- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The Latest on the New Jersey state budget (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is preparing for a state government shutdown.

The Republican governor sent a letter on Thursday to his Cabinet members instructing them to get ready in case a budget is not enacted by the midnight deadline on Friday.

The state Legislature failed to vote on a budget on Thursday.

The votes were delayed after Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto halted a vote on the budget when his fellow Democrats failed to vote in favor of the bill.

Prieto attributed the failure to some lawmakers’ support for legislation overhauling the state’s largest health insurer, which Christie has made a condition of signing the budget.

The state Senate approved legislation to overhaul Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield as part of an agreement with Christie. Prieto says he opposes the bill and will not post it for a vote.

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7:30 p.m.

The New Jersey Assembly and Senate have gone into recess without passing a fiscal year 2018 budget.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s and Senate President Steve Sweeney’s offices said Thursday that the chamber will be in recess until Friday.

Lawmakers and Republican Gov. Chris Christie have until Friday night to enact a budget or face a government shutdown.

Prieto halted a vote on the proposed $34.7 billion budget Thursday because he did not have enough votes, stemming from his opposition to support Christie and the Senate’s proposal to overhaul the state’s biggest health insurer.

Sweeney backs the measure, which passed the Senate on Thursday.

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5:30 p.m.

The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation backed by GOP Gov. Chris Christie as part of budget negotiations to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer and transfer the state lottery to the public pension.

The Democrat-led Senate approved the bills on Thursday around the time that Christie acknowledged for the first time that they were conditions he put on Democrats to approve their $34.7 billion budget proposal.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto says he agrees to the lottery proposal but will not post the legislation affecting Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Prieto earlier on Thursday halted a vote on the budget because he was shy of the votes needed to pass it.

Christie has called on Prieto to post the Horizon proposal in order to avert a shutdown.

The state constitution requires a budget be enacted by July 1.

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5:20 p.m.

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that he won’t sign a state budget unless it’s presented to him along with his proposal to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer and a plan to dedicate lottery revenue to the state’s underfunded public workers’ pensions.

The Democratic-controlled Assembly’s failed to pass a $34.7 billion state budget on the first try Thursday. A state government shutdown looms if Christie doesn’t sign a budget by Friday night.

Christie says that it’s up to Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to get a deal done and that it’s time for him to “stop obstructing.”

The Senate says it doesn’t plan a vote Thursday.

Prieto says if there’s a shutdown blames lies at the feet of the lawmakers who opposed the budget.

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5 p.m.

New Jersey’s state Senate will not vote on the state’s $34.7 billion budget after voting in the Assembly was stopped.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto stopped voting on the state’s $34.7 billion budget Thursday afternoon as part of a stalemate over Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer. He promised to put the bill up again, but it’s unclear when that will happen.

The Senate says either way it doesn’t plan a vote Thursday.

The Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate need to send a budget to Republican Gov. Chris Christie before a Friday night deadline to avoid a state government shutdown.

Prieto says if there’s a shutdown blames lies at the feet of the lawmakers who opposed the budget, which was negotiated with the state senate and passed out of committee with Democratic support.

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4 p.m.

The leader of the state Assembly has stopped a vote on the state budget after it didn’t appear to have enough votes to pass.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto stopped voting on the state’s $34.7 billion budget Thursday afternoon as part of a stalemate over Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer. He promised to put the bill up again.

The Assembly and Senate need to approve a budget before a Friday night deadline to avoid a state government shutdown.

The budget proposes more than $100 million for school aid, and $25 million apiece for pre-kindergarten and special education.

The sticking point is legislation initially proposed by Christie to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer’s board and use its surplus. The state Senate has approved similar legislation.

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9 a.m.

A stalemate over Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer remains in place as Democrats get ready to vote on a budget ahead of a Friday night deadline.

The Assembly and Senate are set to vote Thursday on a $34.7 billion budget. It proposes more than $100 million for school aid, and $25 million apiece for pre-kindergarten and special education.

It also funds Democratic priorities, such as financial assistance to lower-income students and additional cash for security at nonpublic schools.

Failure to enact a budget would lead to a government shutdown, affecting state parks and other nonessential services.

The sticking point is legislation initially proposed by Christie to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer’s board and use its surplus.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto oppose that.

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