Christie signs $34.7B budget, ends state government shutdown

By MICHAEL CATALINIMarketsAssociated Press

A budget impasse that shuttered government and state parks and beaches for three days ended on the Fourth of July when Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a deal he and the Democratic Legislature crafted.

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Christie, who lounged with his family on a beach that was closed to the public over the weekend and was roundly criticized for it, said he was saddened the budget deal had come three days late. He signed it early Tuesday morning.

He rejected the idea that the aerial photos of him on the beach snapped by NJ.com had any effect on his negotiations.

"There will be some people who say, 'It affected his negotiating ability,'" Christie said. "Let me tell you something, man, I got exactly what I wanted tonight. It doesn't affect my ability to do my job."

He said he had ordered all closed state parks to reopen for Independence Day. And he said state government will open on Wednesday and state workers will get a paid holiday Tuesday at his request.