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    Island Beach State Park might temporarily close if N.J. shutdown begins Saturday

    Island Beach State Park. (Justin Auciello for WHYY)

    Island Beach State Park. (Justin Auciello for WHYY)

    On the eve of a long holiday weekend, Island Beach State Park joins numerous state parks that could temporarily close if state lawmakers don’t pass a budget before Friday night.

    Gov. Chris Christie yesterday ordered state agencies to begin preparing for a government shutdown if the $35 billion budget is not available to fund the state’s resources. 

    Christie set a deadline for midnight Saturday. Lawmakers are set to vote Friday. Democrats and Republicans agree on the budget but a dispute over overhauling the state’s largest health insurer is causing a stalemate. 

    In addition to state offices and the lottery, the shutdown could close parks and marinas, including Shore area attractions like Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, Bass River State Forest, Double Trouble State Park, and Warren Grove Recreation Area.

    [RELATED: N.J. budget stalemate between governor, Assembly speaker continues]

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