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Christie hits the beach during budget ills, New Jersey not alone

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 18:06:30-04

(WMTW/CNN) - Maine, New Jersey and Illinois are all facing state budget problems. But they are not alone.  

The budget year started in most places on Saturday, and a number of states are still trying to put budgets in place. According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, 11 states have yet to pass budgets for the 2018 fiscal year. 

Maine's Gov. Paul LePage declared a state of civil emergency with its partial state shutdown. All non-emergency government functions were ordered to shut down until further notice.

The governor posted a message on Facebook on Monday.  "If they vote a budget out today without a tax increase. This shutdown is over," he said.  

In New Jersey, the state government has also shut down. Gov. Chris Christie announced a special legislative session for Monday after

legislators failed to pass a budget over the weekend.

Christie ordered tourist attractions such as state parks and state beaches closed, just as the Fourth of July holiday weekend began. It was closed to everyone but Christie, that is.

He is being criticized for enjoying the governor's private beach retreat over the weekend with his family and friends, while the public was turned away. In a phone interview on Monday with Good Day New York, Christie defended the trip.

"This is the governor's residence. And I told people starting last Monday that our family had plans to be here along with friends who were flying from all over the country," Christie said. 

He tweeted on Monday that most of the state's shoreline was open.

 

Meanwhile the budget crisis in Illinois is serious. The state owes some $15 billion in unpaid bills. Legislators are working to pass a budget to avoid becoming the first state with its credit branded as junk.

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