Friday Facts and Figures: August 16, 2019

Friday Facts and Figures is a brief digital newsletter focusing on data points from NJPP reports, research, and policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
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First

Big news out of the Midwest: Kansas and Missouri have entered into the first-ever interstate pact to end corporate subsidies. The legally binding agreement would stop each state from offering tax credits to companies relocating within the same labor market but across their shared state line. This is meant to stop the “border war” in the Kansas City metro region, as competition for these jobs provided little economic benefit to each state other than artificially boosting their labor statistics. When a company relocates a few miles away, no new jobs are created for the region as the workers at the firm stay the same; the only thing that changes is their commute. In the absence of federal law, ceasefire agreements like this should be replicated in other states that share a labor market. [American Prospect / Marcia Brown]


5

Could the Kansas-Missouri ceasefire act as a model for a similar interstate pact involving New Jersey? It makes sense, given we share a labor market with New York to the north and Pennsylvania to the south. Yesterday, five state senators — Weinberg, Singleton, Cryan, Gopal, and Senate President Sweeney — expressed interest in the idea, saying a regional approach to economic development is worth exploring. Senator Cryan went further, saying he “couldn’t agree more” with the concept as a way to “end this costly race to the bottom.” Given the recent scandals surrounding New Jersey’s corporate subsidy programs, this is an opportune time to reign in tax credits, protect current and future tax payers, and level the playing field for all businesses. [NJ BIZ / Daniel Munoz]


$10 Million

Speaking of scandals, the state Economic Development Authority (EDA) is reconsidering a $10 million subsidy to GLTC Partners LLC for a senior housing development in Trenton. The review follows reports that a company it contracted — Tri-County Real Estate Co. — did not pay its laborers and carpenters for their work constructing the project. The state Department of Labor has ordered the company to pay back $170,000 to its workers, plus an additional $30,000 in fines and fees. Regardless of whether an interstate ceasefire passes, stories like this exemplify the need for New Jersey to reform its corporate subsidy programs. [NJ BIZ / Daniel Munoz]


700,000

Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced a change to the “public charge” rule, which will make it much more difficult for legal immigrants who receive health and nutrition assistance to obtain a green card and thus full citizenship. The rule change represents a fundamental shift in US immigration policy, as it will prioritize wealthy immigrants while penalizing those struggling to make ends meet. As NJPP’s Erika Nava explained to NJ.com, the rule puts the health and safety of 700,000 New Jerseyans at risk, as these individuals may have to choose between applying for assistance to have their basic needs met or having their family separated. State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has signaled he will challenge the measure in court. [NJ.com / Jonathan D. Salant]


1.7 Million

In July, the Trump administration proposed another rule change that has largely avoided scrutiny despite its potential to reduce access to medical care for millions of Americans. The rule would repeal the current requirement for states to monitor whether Medicaid reimbursements are sufficient enough to ensure doctors participate in the program. This is a major threat to New Jersey, as the state already has the lowest percentage of doctors in the nation that participate in Medicaid at 39 percent. Up to 1.7 million New Jersey seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-paid workers who rely on Medicaid are at risk of losing access to their health care. [NJPP / Ray Castro]


ICYMI

NJPP’s annual Celebration of Progress is a month away! Join your favorite policy analysts as we celebrate a year of progressive victories. From the $15 minimum wage to creating a state health care exchange, New Jersey is emerging as a national leader in promoting economic and social justice — and that’s worth celebrating! Click the link to purchase your ticket today. [NJPP / Celebration of Progress]


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