July 3, 2017
Re: State Budget Update
By now you have likely heard that the June 30 midnight deadline has come and gone, and the Legislature has not passed a balanced state budget. The Governor issued an executive order implementing a state shutdown. In addition, on Saturday, the Governor delivered an address to a joint session of the Legislature. Please click here for the prepared transcript of that address.
Here is an overview of the Executive Order:
Essential Services: In general, the state will continue providing the following essential services: State Police, state correctional facilities, key child welfare services, state hospitals and treatment facilities, NJ TRANSIT, and operations linked to the health, safety, and welfare of the public, including certain environmental and health monitoring. Additionally, the state closure will not impact the State Lottery, casinos and racetracks. (Please see below for more on how long casinos will remain open.)
State Closures: In general, all state parks, recreation areas, forests, and historic site, including Island Beach State Park and Liberty State are closed. All public events within state parks and historic sites are cancelled. The following will also be closed: permitting offices for Air, Historic Preservation, Land Use, Site Remediation, Solid Waste, and Water Supply; Green Acres and Blue Acres offices; Office of Dispute Resolution; Office of Permit Coordination; most of the Division of Fish & Wildlife (Wildlife Management Areas and on-line services will not be impacted); NJ Geologic Survey; and Rebuild by Design projects. The rest areas on I-295 in Deepwater Salem County and on I-80 in Warren County are closed. All MVC agencies and inspection stations will be closed. However, online services will still be available. Juvenile Justice Commission operations, State Medical Examiner Offices, and other public safety operations will continue, but some administrative offices will be closed. The public will not be able to obtain copies of birth and marriage certificates, or copies of adoptees’ original birth certificates from the State but will still be able to do so from the Local Registrar. No new certifications or renewals will be issued for EMTs, paramedics or Certified Nursing Assistants. Unemployment Insurance and disability determination services will remain operational. Temporary Disability Insurance claims, Wage and Hour claims, and Family Leave Insurance claims may be filed, but they will not be processed. One Stop Career Centers (state not county services) will be closed; Workers Compensation Courts will be closed. Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services will be closed. The travel and tourism welcome centers will be closed.
For more for state services impacted by the State shutdown, please click here.
We would like to call your particular attention to item #13 in the Executive Order, starting on the bottom of page 6, which states:
"13. It shall be the duty of every person in this State or doing business in this State, and the members of the governing body, and of each and every official, agent, or employee of every political subdivision in this State, and of each member of and all other governmental bodies, agencies, and authorities in this State of any nature whatsoever, fully to cooperate in all matters concerning this emergency."
Please note that a 2008 law, passed in response to the 2006 State shutdown, delays the closure of casinos and racetracks for one week in the event of a state shutdown. Unless an exception is found within that law, Atlantic City casinos and racetracks will close this weekend.
Since state funding has not been appropriated, any payments due to local governments will be delayed for the time being. In addition, each state department’s website is providing information on how the State’s shut down is impacting the services they provide. Services impacted include:
Department of Community Affairs – Fairs and fireworks displays will continue through the holiday, however, some public services will not be available. Staff will also be available for review online requests for permits and certificates. All other core services are temporarily unavailable.
Department of Environmental Protection - State marinas will be open to boat owners, however, DEP buildings and services at marinas will be closed; Wildlife Management Areas; and Black bear and wildlife response teams will remain open. Should there be an emergency needing DEP response, please call 1-877-WARNDEP.
Department of Transportation – Construction will continue, as will emergency repairs and some roadside safety services.
Department of Law & Public Safety – Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued an order that extended licenses and permits that are scheduled to expire to Friday, July 7, 2017. This applies to municipally issued licensees that have not been renewed, have not received ad interim relief and is not subject to an objection by the municipality or aggrieved party.
Office of the Courts – While municipal courts will remain open during the shutdown, all state courts are closed, expect for emergent or essential court matters outlined in Chief Justice Rabner’s order.
Department of Human Services - During the state closure, DHS’ developmental centers and hospitals remain operational. Benefits and services related to DHS programs will not be impacted and providers of these services will continue to be paid. However, DHS’ offices will be on skeleton staff and licenses, fingerprinting and other non-essential services will be suspended until the state budget is approved.
This situation is fluid, and a resolution could be found soon or it could linger for days or weeks. We will continue to keep you posted.
Very truly yours,
Michael F. Cerra
Assistant Executive Director