Statement from Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto on Gov. Christie’s Hostage Crisis Day One

“As we stand here today on Gov. Christie’s Hostage Crisis Day One, I continue to wait for my fellow Democrats who have expressed support for the proposed state budget to cast ‘yes’ votes. The Assembly remains in session and voting on the bill remains open.

“I have compromised on school funding, twice. I have compromised on the state lottery pension legislation. These are budget-related items.

“The attempt to extort Horizon’s 3.8 million ratepayers is not part of the state budget, and as I’ve said previously, I will not consider it as part of the budget process. I will consider it once a budget is signed. In fact, the Assembly Judiciary Committee stands ready to hold hearings starting this month.

“I am also ready to consider reasonable alternatives that protect ratepayers, but others must come to the table ready to be equally reasonable.

“Gov. Christie and the legislators who won’t vote ‘yes’ on the budget are responsible for this unacceptable shutdown. I compromised. I put up a budget bill for a vote. Others now must now do their part and fulfill their responsibilities. The voting board remains open.”