Budget Settlement Reached

It took three days, public uproar, and thousands of workers to urge Governor Chris Christie and the Legislature to end the shutdown and put state employees back to work. Many of our AFSCME sisters and brothers who have dedicated years of service to the people of New Jersey were shut out. 

The legislature finally agreed on a budget after Governor Christie received national ridiculefor traveling by state helicopter to Island Beach State Park to spend the July 4 holiday weekend at the beach with his family. Meanwhile, many New Jerseyans were forced to cancel vacation plans with their families due to the shutdown. 

The biggest issue up for debate was how the state’s largest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, would be regulated. The agreement reached Monday night caps Horizon’s reserves and returns the excess to ratepayers. Gov. Christie preferred the surplus be allocated to drug treatment programs. Additionally, Horizon will operate under the supervision of 17 board of directors, two more than before. 

The following is a statement I issued regarding the agreement to end the shutdown:
"AFSCME stood strong with Speaker Preito and other allies to prevent politics from preventing the passage of a budget. We are happy the budget passed, but look forward to electing a new Governor that supports public employees and working people of New Jersey and not just millionaires." 

AFSCME New Jersey, labor allies, and pro-worker legislators worked tirelessly to get a sensible budget past to save our services, but the shutdown is a reminder of why we need to continue our support for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Phil Murphy. During the shutdown, Murphy expressed strong support for state workers and disappointment of Gov. Christie’s failure to reach an agreement on the budget. 

Gubernatorial candidate, Phil Murphy released the following statement during an interview with Politico: 
"The situation that has led to this shutdown is both disappointing and frustrating. This shutdown will be the capstone of seven-and-a half failed years of the Christie-Guadagno administration. Families and workers across New Jersey will needlessly suffer because Governor Christie has yet again created a phony crisis to put his personal agenda ahead of the public good. It is clear that New Jersey needs new leadership in the Governor's Office." 

Please don’t forget to thank the legislators who stood with us from the beginning and voted for the budget. Find your legislator and send an email thanking them click here

Call 1(800) 669-1505 to connect with your assemble member by phone. 

Thank You! 
Ralph Caputo (D), Marlene Caride (D), Annette Chaparro (D), Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D),   Tim Eustace (D), Thomas Giblin (D), Reed Gusciora (D), Jamel Holley (D), Mila Jasey (D), Angelica Jimenez (D), James Kennedy (D), Joseph Lagana (D), John McKeon (D), Angela McKnight (D), Raj Mukherji (D), Elizabeth Maher Muoio (D), Vincent Prieto (D), Annette Quijano (D), Gary Schaer (D), Shavonda Sumter (D), Cleopatra Tucker (D), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D), Benjie Wimberly (D), John Wisniewski (D), Wayne Deangelo (D), Daniel Benson (D), Gary Schaer (D), James Kennedy (D)