Friday Facts and Figures: December 20, 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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Programming note: Friday Facts and Figures will be off next week for the holidays. We’ll be back in your inbox in January. See you in 2020!


It’s official — New Jersey is the 15th state in the nation to expand access to driver’s licenses to all residents, regardless of immigration status! Governor Murphy signed the historic bill into law on Thursday at a ceremony in Elizabeth (there’s a great photo from the bill signing of NJPP Policy Analyst Erika Nava and her son on the @NJPolicy Twitter page). As Erika said in a statement after the bill was signed, this policy, more than any other, “will immediately boost the mobility and economic opportunities of mixed-status families in every corner of the state.” [ / Sophie Nieto-Munoz]


Earlier this week, NJPP’s Erika Nava released a new analysis outlining the top six reasons to pass driver’s license expansion. The biggest one: it will benefit a large and diverse group of people, including the 737,418 New Jersey residents who will be able to legally drive for the first time. This number includes 444,000 immigrants without status, 288,000 low-paid residents, survivors of domestic violence, and over 5,400 residents who were formerly incarcerated and reentering society. The report also shows how this law will benefit everyone in the state through safer roads, stabilized insurance premiums, and stronger communities. [NJPP / Erika Nava]


By a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional. The appeals panel also sent the case back to a federal district judge to determine whether the rest of the ACA can survive without the individual mandate, threatening the health care of millions. If the ACA were repealed, 17 million people across the country could lose their coverage — including 800,000 in New Jersey — and more than 50 million people with pre-existing conditions could be denied insurance. [New York Times / Abby Goodnough]


Seventeen states did a better job than New Jersey at insuring young children under age six, according to a new report by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. This is an important health metric as this time period is critical for the brain and overall physical development of children. In New Jersey, far too many kids — 3.1 percent — do not have access to health coverage. State lawmakers could fix this by expanding NJ FamilyCare coverage and performing better-targeted outreach. [Georgetown University Health Policy Institute / Elizabeth Wright Burak, Maggie Clark, and Lauren Roygardner]


Governor Murphy has appointed four new members to the board of the state Economic Development Authority, including NJPP Board Chair Marcia Marley. At the announcement, Governor Murphy stated that his four picks know that “our future can’t rest on delivering huge payouts to the best connected among us while failing to deliver real results to so many in our communities.” We wholeheartedly agree. And congratulations, Marcia! [NJTV News / Michael Aron]

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