Support for State’s Poorest Kids Continues to Dwindle

Last year, NJPP released a groundbreaking report that pinpointed the state’s stagnant cash assistance levels as a major cause of child poverty in New Jersey.

The report, and vigorous advocacy spearheaded by NJPP and key partners, led to swift legislative action: The legislature passed the first increase in TANF assistance since the late 1980s and – following the lead of many other states – repealed the punitive “family cap” policy. But the path to progress was blocked by Gov. Christie, who vetoed the modest boost in help for the state’s poorest families and children.

Fast forward to today: While it may be hard to believe, the situation has gotten even worse for New Jersey’s kids in just one year. Last year New Jersey had the 10th lowest TANF assistance level compared to other states – and this year it dropped to 7th lowest, falling behind states like Texas and Oklahoma, as we note in a new Fast Facts update.

New Jersey needs to invest in children like other states are doing – not ignore them like it has for the last 30 years.