Friday Facts and Figures: November 1, 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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Heads up, New Jersey! The open enrollment period for health insurance starts today and runs through December 15. Unlike years past, the state will take the lead in enrollment education and assistance as New Jersey moves toward creating its own health exchange. At a press conference earlier this week, Governor Murphy announced $1.1 million in new funding for Navigator grants on top of the $1.5 million previously allocated for the state’s Get Covered NJ awareness campaign. The governor also announced $500,000 in funding for community organizations to boost enrollment efforts. [NJTV News / Joanna Gagis]


Targeted enrollment outreach is critical for New Jersey given the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and instill fear in immigrant communities. According to a new NJPP report, thousands of legal immigrants and citizens in mixed status households are dropping out of or not applying for public health coverage likely due to federal policies—namely the public charge rule change—that penalize immigrants. From 2017 to 2018, the number of uninsured Hispanic and Asian children in New Jersey increased by 2,621, while the number of uninsured White and Black children decreased over the same time period. [NJ 101.5 / Michael Symons]


More than 800,000 New Jersey residents are now eligible for family planning services—without paying out of pocket—thanks to the state’s new Medicaid expansion. Under the Plan First benefit, which is based on legislation signed by the Governor in February 2018, residents who make between $17,240 and $25,605 per year will have access to birth control, pregnancy tests, screenings for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and counseling sessions related to reproductive planning. According to the state Department of Human Services, the services will cost $17.8 million, where all but $1.8 million will come from the federal government. [NJ Spotlight / Lilo Stainton]


State funding for public colleges and universities still lags behind pre-recession levels. According to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, New Jersey lawmakers spent 22.6 percent—or $2,278—less per student between 2008 and 2018, far outpacing the national average decline. Students who already face the greatest racial and economic barriers to higher education are particularly at risk of being harmed by rising tuition and fees; for Black and Latinx households, the net price of attendance at a public four-year college accounted for 32 percent and 29 percent of household income, respectively. [NJPP / Brandon McKoy]


Seventeen of New Jersey’s 21 counties touch some portion of the state’s coastline and, as a result, are at serious risk of being harmed by climate change and rising sea levels. These same counties are home to approximately 80 percent of the state’s 9 million residents and are responsible for more than $400 billion in annual economic activity. Click the link for a captivating, interactive report on the new risks of sea-level rise and hurricane activity in the Garden State (spoiler: the risks associated with climate change extend beyond the coasts and carry significant economic costs). [New Jersey’s Rising Coastal Risk / The Rhodium Group]


Tim Sullivan, CEO of the state Economic Development Authority (EDA), makes the case for hard caps on corporate subsidies in a new op-ed in ROI NJ. Sullivan rightly points out that caps are not a new or radical idea. Numerous other states—including New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania—have caps on their economic development programs, and New Jersey caps many of its tax credit programs. Even Grow New Jersey and the Economic Redevelopment & Growth program were both capped prior to 2013. [ROI NJ / Tim Sullivan]

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