Friday Facts and Figures: June 28, 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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No Shutdown!

On Thursday, Governor Murphy announced that there will be no state shutdown, as he will sign a budget before Sunday’s midnight deadline. This ends almost two weeks of speculation after the Legislature passed a budget that spends more than the governor’s, while also taking in less revenue. The budget also foregoes a millionaires tax or contribution to the state’s rainy day fund, making the Legislature’s new investments vulnerable to the next economic downturn or natural disaster. The Governor said he will continue to push for measures that promote tax fairness. [NJ.com / Samantha Marcus and Brent Johnson]


$100 Million

Governor Murphy is expected to line-item veto spending measures in the Legislature’s budget before he signs it — and there’s plenty to choose from. The Legislature added dozens of new measures to their budget that total more than $100 million, including an extra $5 million for Cooper University Hospital and $3 million for Turtle Back Zoo. Fortunately, the Governor said he will not cut the additional $50 million for NJ Transit that was included in the Legislature’s budget. [NJ Spotlight / John Reitmeyer and Colleen O’Dea]


200

Holtec — the recipient of New Jersey’s second largest corporate subsidy — is in more hot water as they failed to disclose important information to the state Economic Development Authority (EDA). In their 2014 application to the EDA, Holtec claimed a tax subsidy was necessary for them to expand in New Jersey, as Ohio had offered them a “robust proposal” to relocate. What Holtec failed to mention is that Ohio had just revoked the company’s tax credits for failing to create the 200 jobs they promised. Earlier this month, the EDA put Holtec’s tax credits on hold after they were caught providing false information in their application. This is further evidence that the state’s economic development programs must be reformed, and soon — the current programs sunset this Sunday at midnight. [ProPublica / Nancy Solomon, Jeff Pilletts, and Alex Mierjeski]


$10.00

Thousands of New Jersey workers will get a raise this Monday, as the state’s minimum wage will increase to $10.00 an hour. This is the first scheduled increase of the $15 minimum wage law passed earlier this year. For most workers, the minimum wage will rise to $15.00 by 2024, at which point it will be indexed to inflation. Some workers are on a slower phase-in schedule, but there will be one standard minimum wage by 2030. In total, this increase will benefit 1 million low-paid workers and will inject billions of dollars into the state economy. [NorthJersey.com / Nicholas Pugliese​]


2020

A last-minute agreement between Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney will allow New Jersey to create its own state health care exchange in time for the 2020 enrollment season. Earlier this week, the fate of the proposal was in question as the Senate President was holding the bill from a vote so it could be amended. If lawmakers did not pass the bill on Thursday, the last legislative session before summer, it was unlikely the state would meet the federal government’s August 1 deadline. According to NJPP’s Ray Castro, states that have their own exchanges are able to keep premiums down and cover more residents. [NJ.com / Susan Livio]


ICYMI

On Thursday, the Senate and Assembly passed landmark legislation to prevent wage theft. The proposal strengthens the state’s wage and hour laws, which are now among the strongest in the nation. Specifically, the bill increases penalties for employers who pay their workers less than the minimum wage or withhold overtime pay, and extends the statute of limitations for victims of wage theft. This is a huge win for low-paid workers in every corner of the state. [Insider NJ]


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