July 4 Update: Early this morning, Governor Christie signed New Jersey’s 2017-2018 budget into law, ending a three-day shut-down of state government. News reports indicate that the governor left intact increased expenditures, including $150 million more in school aid, added by the legislature. School Board Notes will include further information on 2017-2018 education funding.
TRENTON, July 3, 2017—The state government shutdown continues today, with only essential services in operation.
The shutdown went into effect on Saturday, the start of the new fiscal year, as a result of the state’s failure to enact a 2017-2018 budget.
At issue in the legislature is not the proposed appropriations act, the parameters of which the leadership of both houses agreed to on June 26, but rather a proposal to restructure Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurer. The governor has made that legislation key to his agreement to sign the budget with the increased expenditures, including $150 million more in school aid, added by the legislature. (See New Budget Compromise Addresses Special Ed, Reduces Cuts – updated 6/30.)
So far, the state Senate has passed a Horizon restructuring bill; the legislation has not been posted for a vote in the Assembly. Because of lack of agreement over the Horizon bill in the legislature, neither house has sent a budget to the governor.
News reports indicate that the Senate and Assembly leadership planned to meet today with the CEO of Horizon in an attempt to reach an agreement on a bill to restructure the health insurer. The organization was created by statute as a not-for-profit health insurance corporation, the only one of its kind in New Jersey.
At this point, the shutdown of state government does not have a direct impact on local school district operations. NJSBA operations are not affected by the government shutdown.
NJSBA will provide updates on the budget situation, including any impact on proposed 2017-2018 school aid, as necessary. In addition, School Board Notes will include further analysis of 2017-2018 education funding once the state budget is enacted.
The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of the state’s local boards of education and includes the majority of New Jersey’s charter schools as associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.