Beaches, parks, MVC — What would close next week in NJ shutdown?
SATURDAY EVENING UPDATE:
Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders have reached a budget deal, averting a government shutdown, with just hours to spare.
TRENTON — For the second year in a row, Island Beach State Park could be closed for a Fourth of July weekend as a result of a state government shutdown, which still remains likely but not certain.
Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders of his own party have been at an impasse over a state budget, which has to be adopted by the end of Saturday night.
Regardless of when a deal is struck, it appears likely the new fiscal year will start Sunday without a budget in place. It remains to be seen, however, if that will mean a government shutdown that would close state-run parks and non-essential services.
Both sides met for several hours Friday morning in Murphy's office but no agreement was reached. Negotiations continued Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday, the Assembly passed legislation that would allow parks to remain open during a shutdown. But the bill must be approved by the state Senate and signed into law by the governor for it to go into effect.
The Murphy administration has not put out a definitive list of what would close in the event of a shutdown, but here is a list of what likely would be affected based on what happened last year when Chris Christie was governor and fought over the budget with the Assembly.
OPEN — Local beaches & Sandy Hook
The vast majority of beaches on the Jersey Shore are municipal and would not be affected by a shutdown. Sandy Hook is a federal park and those beaches would remain open as well.
CLOSED — Island Beach State Park & state parks
The vast sands of Island Beach State Park would be off limits during a shutdown. That's the beach that Christie and his family had all to themselves during the state shutdown last year.
The list of state parks and beaches that would be affected includes:
Abram S. Hewitt State Forest
Allaire State Park
Allamuchy Mountain State Park
Atsion Recreation Area
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
Bass River State Forest
Belleplain State Forest
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
Bull's Island Recreation Area
Cape May Point State Park
Cheesequake State Park
Corson's Inlet State Park
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
Double Trouble State Park
Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina
Farny State Park
Forked River State Marina
Fortescue State Marina
Fort Mott State Park
Hacklebarney State Park
High Point State Park
Hopatcong State Park
Island Beach State Marina
Island Beach State Park
Jenny Jump State Forest
Kittatinny Valley State Park
Leonardo State Marina
Liberty Landing Marina
Liberty State Park
Long Pond Ironworks State Park
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
Norvin Green State Forest
Parvin State Park
Penn State Forest
Princeton Battlefield State Park
Ramapo Mountain State Forest
Rancocas State Park
Ringwood State Park
Round Valley Recreation Area
Spruce Run Recreation Area
Stephens State Park
Stokes State Forest
Swartswood State Park
Voorhees State Park
Warren Grove Recreation Area
Washington Crossing State Park
Washington Rock State Park
Wawayanda State Park
Wharton State Forest
Worthington State Forest
CLOSED — Racetracks
New Jersey legalized sports betting this month but all bets may be off at Monmouth Park if the state shuts down. The racetrack pointed to a state law thay allows racetracks to remain open for seven days in a shutdown, but a letter from the attorney general to the New Jersey Racing Commission said the state would force all tracks to close.
Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, R-Monmouth, has introduced a bill that would allow the tracks to remain open.
CLOSED — Transportation projects
Assemblyman Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, this week called for emergency legislation to keep road projects working during a shutdown.
“We learned from the last shutdown that project delays caused by state government can result in financial penalties. Since almost all transportation projects are completed by private contractors, state inspectors should be deemed essential personnel for safety and financial reasons," Bramnick said.
OPEN — Toll booths and rest stops
Service areas on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike would be open. NJ Transit will also continue running.
CLOSED — Motor Vehicle Commission
The MVC would be closed anyway on a Sunday and the Fourth on Wednesday. But if the shutdown continues into the week, you'd have to wait before renewing your license or registration.
OPEN — Casinos & state Lottery
Gambling would continue in Atlantic City.
CLOSED — Department of Health
You won't be able to get copies of birth and marriage certificates. No new certifications or renewals will be issued for EMTs, paramedics or Certified Nursing Assistants.
OPEN — Police and emergency services
State Police, prisons, child welfare and state hospitals would not be affected. Juvenile Justice Commission operations, State Medical Examiner Offices, and other public safety operations will continue. Child abuse hotlines, protection services and response teams will continue to operate. Schools for children with special needs will remain open.
OPEN — Welfare & labor offices
Department of Human Services developmental centers and hospitals would stay open. Benefits and services including food stamps and child support would not be impacted.
Unemployment Insurance and disability determination services would continue. Temporary Disability Insurance claims, Wage and Hour claims and Family Leave Insurance claims may be filed but would not be processed.
CLOSED — Certain labor offices
One Stop Career Centers, Workers Compensation Courts and Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services would be closed.
OPEN — Department of Community Affairs
Inspections related to construction codes, fire safety, fairs and fireworks displays would continue.
CLOSED — Travel & tourism centers
OPEN — Education
Schools for children with special needs would remain open. Department of Education phone help desks, customer service, and all other related staff-based assistance functions will be unavailable and all core public functions would be closed.
Michael Symons contributed to this report.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.