With Gov. Murphy and the Legislature deeply at odds over the state budget, New Jersey may be on course for a second consecutive government shutdown. If a deal is not reached before 12:01 a.m. Sunday, here's what folks can expect:
No access to state beaches or parks (unless you're the governor, of course)
In 2017, Gov. Chris Christie was the subject of widespread outrage when he was photographed lounging at Island Beach State Park during the government shutdown. Island Beach was closed to the public last year, and it will be shuttered this year along with Cheesequake State Park if the government fails to pass a budget. In addition to the two state-owned beaches, New Jersey's state parks and state-owned historical sites will be off-limits to the public. But it's not all bad news for beachgoers — municipal beaches and parks would still be open.
State employees could get an extended summer break
Non-essential state employees were furloughed in previous shutdowns in 2006 and 2017, and could be sent home during a possible shutdown next week. The exact number of employees who could be furloughed is unclear, but expect it to number in the tens of thousands.
State Police will remain on the job
In 2017, state police continued their jobs during the shutdown, as they were deemed essential employees. Law and order will still be in effect even if there's no budget.
You can (probably) still hit the jackpot
Lottery services will stay open during a shutdown, if last year's precedent is followed. Even though the New Jersey Lottery was closed during the 2006 shutdown, in 2017 it was classified as essential to the state's financial well-being.
You'll be able to catch the bus or train
NJ Transit remained operational during the 2017 budget impasse, and is expected to continue its bus and train services in the event of a possible shutdown this summer.
Racetracks will close, casinos will be left unregulated, and betting status is unclear
In the event of a shutdown, racetracks will be closed immediately and casinos will operate without regulation, according to Politico NJ. Before Friday, many believed the state's casinos and racetracks would stay open for the first seven days of a shutdown, thanks to a law passed during the 2006 shutdown. Yet the executive director of the New Jersey Racing Commission said racetracks did not fill out the proper paperwork in time and thus would be forced to close effective Sunday.
Although casinos would still remain open for the first week of a closure, their plans were disrupted after the state said employees at the gambling regulatory bodies were non-essential and would be furloughed during a potential shutdown. As a result, the fate of the sports betting books at casinos is now unclear. The uncertainty could mean that no bets would be placed for the majority of the World Cup knockout rounds, the closing stages of one of the world's most popular sporting events.
Make sure to update your license early
The Department of Motor Vehicles was deemed nonessential for last year's shutdown, so during this year's potential shutdown residents hoping to renew expired licenses, register cars, and turn in license plates could be turned away. Head to your local DMV office before Saturday night to avoid any possible transportation headaches.
Forget about jury duty
State courts were shuttered last year as only cases that were deemed essential continued during the shutdown. Additionally, residents who were scheduled for jury duty were told they were not needed — a situation that will most likely continue during a possible shutdown this summer.