TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the New Jersey government shutdown (all times local):
Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie intensified the case for overhauling the state's largest health insurance company during the first day of a government shutdown since he and lawmakers missed the budget deadline.
Christie delivered an address Saturday to the Legislature and lashed Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, whom he blamed for the shutdown.
Christie ordered the state's nonessential services, like state parks and motor vehicle agencies, to close down late Friday.
On Saturday, he called on Prieto to support legislation to make Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey more transparent and accountable.
Prieto opposes the legislation because he says it could lead to higher rates.
Neither the Assembly nor the Senate has passed the $34.7 billion that both chambers agree on.
The Democrat-led Senate agrees with Christie on the Horizon legislation.
New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is standing firm in his standoff with Gov. Chris Christie, a dispute that has led to the state's first government shutdown since 2006.
The Republican governor and Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney agree on legislation to make over Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.
But Prieto, also a Democrat, opposes the plan, saying that the legislation could lead to rate hikes.
Prieto reiterated Saturday that he won't consider the plan as part of the budget process. But he says he will consider it once a budget is signed.
Prieto says he has made compromises that led to the budget now before the Legislature. He says "others now must now do their part and fulfill their responsibilities."
Gov. Chris Christie says the standoff that resulted in the state's first government shutdown since 2006 is "embarrassing and pointless."
The Republican said Saturday at a news conference that he was ready to sign a budget. He also planned to address the full legislature.
Christie has ordered nonessential services, including state parks and the motor vehicle commission to close until the dispute is settled. New Jersey Transit, state prisons, state police, hospitals and treatment centers as well as casinos and the lottery remain open.
Christie and Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney agree on legislation to make over Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.
But Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto opposes the plan, saying that the legislation could lead to rate hikes.
Christie repeatedly referred to the government closure as "the speaker's shutdown."
People in New Jersey are feeling the impact as a state government shutdown took place, closing parks and other public sites.
A Cub Scouts group was among the campers told to leave Cheesequake State Park on Saturday morning, disrupting their weekend plans. Island Beach State Park is also closed.
Ferry service to Liberty and Ellis islands is closed.
The shutdown also means nonessential state agencies have been closed just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.
But prisons, the state police, the lottery and casinos remain open and operational.
The shutdown is the state's first since 2006 and the first under Christie. It came about after leaders failed to reach an agreement on a new budget by the deadline late Friday night.
Christie called for a special session Saturday.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrat-led Legislature are set to return to work to try to resolve the state's first government shutdown since 2006 and the first under Christie.
Christie has called a special session for Saturday, a day after he and lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a new budget.
Christie ordered nonessential services, including state parks and the motor vehicle commission to close beginning Saturday. He and lawmakers remain in a stalemate over whether to include legislation affecting the state's largest health insurer in the budget.
Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney agree on legislation to make over Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield
But Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto opposes the plan, saying that the legislation could lead to rate hikes on the insurer's 3.8 million subscribers.