Corzine shuts down state government over budget dispute
Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ) closed the state government Saturday over a bitter dispute regarding his plan to increase the state sales tax. After the deadline to adopt a new budget passed without an agreement, Corzine passed an executive order just after 9:30 a.m. ordering a shutdown of government services. This leaves New Jersey without money to operate. State lottery tickets won't be sold after 8 p.m. Motor vehicle offices will close at noon. State courts are closed for anything but emergencies. Horse racing across the state will be postponed after a 1 p.m. race at Monmouth Park. Parks, beaches and historic sites may also be closed in the coming days. Casinos could also be affected by the shutdown due to the state government?s monitoring of gambling. Although casino representatives filed a temporary restraining order against the shutdown, a judge rejected their attempt. Essential personnel, such as state troopers, will remain on the job throughout the shutdown. Prisons, mental hospitals and child welfare services will also continue to operate.The main sticking point in the budget battle is Corzine?s plan to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to help close a $4.5 billion budget deficit.
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