Christie to sign budget deal, reopen beaches

Posted: Updated:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he'll sign a budget deal and end a government shutdown that had closed state parks and beaches.

State beaches had been off-limits to the public but not to Christie. He was photographed with his family lounging around on an otherwise deserted state beach over the weekend and was heavily criticized for it.

He has defended his use of the beach, saying he had previously announced his vacation plans and was merely "a politician keeping his word."

The Republican governor late Monday said he has ordered all closed state parks to reopen for the Fourth of July. He says state government will open Wednesday and state workers will get a paid holiday Tuesday at his request.

Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced the budget deal earlier Monday. The deal calls for a $34.7 billion budget that includes more than $300 million in Democratic spending priorities and is part of an agreement to overhaul the state's largest health insurer.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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