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With hours remaining, lawmakers make little public progress

Assembly board stays open as members head home

By Nikita Biryukov, June 30 2018 3:56 pm

There’s been little outward progress in Trenton with less than nine hours remaining before a government shutdown that would be embarrassing for the Democratic lawmakers that control the state government.

Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders are once again meeting, and a voting session in the Assembly finished without moving any bills that would avert the state’s impending shutdown, though Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has kept the board open, placing members of his chamber on-call in case of a last-minute deal.

It’s not clear whether Murphy and legislative leaders will reach such a deal today, or whether or not they could keep the government open even if they did.

It’s possible that Murphy would refuse to sign a shutdown order, forcing State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to order the shutdown in his stead or put his neck out to delay the proceedings.

Unless lawmakers reach a deal, Gurbir is unlikely to do the latter.

The immediate fate on the budget hinges on the meeting, which, at time of writing, has been going for a little more than an hour.

Recent meetings have run about two hours in the past two days, though those meetings ended without a deal.

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