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July 12, 2017

Report: Christie would approve pay for workers furloughed in N.J. shutdown

If it comes across his desk, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will reportedly approve legislation to pay state employees who could not work during the state's recent shutdown.

Brian Murray, a spokesman for Christie's office, told on Wednesday that Christie would sign a bill that would reinstate pay for workers who could not work during the shutdown, sparked by a state budget impasse between Christie and lawmakers.

Christie had previously indicated the opposite.

"Don't count on it," Christie was reported saying at a news conference on June 30, hours before the shutdown took effect. "That was Jon 'I'll fight for a good contract for you' Corzine. I ain't him."

Corzine, Christie's predecessor, agreed with the state legislature to pay for furloughed workers after the state's budget shutdown in 2006. The most recent shutdown, which took effect midnight Saturday, July 1 and ended in time for the July 4 holiday, was Christie's first as governor. reported that the Legislature's upper house is set to hold a vote Thursday on a bill that would pay employees for the time they missed.

Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) were at odds over paying roughly 30,000 to 35,000 furloughed workers in the wake of the shutdown.

Prieto reportedly urged in a letter to Christie to use his executive authority to pay them back.

The governor called Prieto's request "perplexing" in a response on Tuesday, and he said he did not have the authority to order back pay.

The shutdown closed state parks and beaches to the public. Christie, who infamously lounged with his family on a beach closed to the public over the Fourth of July weekend, ordered all closed parks reopened for July 4.