Friday Facts and Figures is a weekly newsletter with data points, analysis, and commentary on the biggest policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
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Vaccine Doses: 14,690,672
Fully Vaccinated People: 7,004,391
[New Jersey Department of Health / COVID-19 Dashboard]
Three Amazon workers died over the last month at separate warehouse facilities in New Jersey, prompting an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The recent deaths underscore the urgent need to regulate warehouses to keep workers safe — especially facilities run by Amazon given its growing footprint in the Garden State and their sky-high employee injury rates. This is not only a tragedy but a policy failure, NJPP President Nicole Rodriguez told Gothamist. [Gothamist / Karen Yi]
New Jersey is one step closer to implementing its landmark harm reduction expansion law, with Murphy administration officials saying regulations will be released within weeks. Once the regulations are finalized, new life-saving harm reduction centers will be allowed to open across the state, starting in communities with high overdose death rates. But for the law to be successful in preventing overdose deaths and blood-borne infections, harm reduction centers should be accessible to all residents, regardless of where they live. “At minimum, we need a harm reduction center in every county,” said Jenna Mellor, Executive Director of the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition. [NJ Spotlight News / Lilo Stainton]
House Democrats are poised to pass the Inflation Reducation Act later today, thanks in part to support from New Jersey representatives who previously stated they wouldn’t support the climate and health bill without raising the SALT deduction cap. “This was a smart move by federal representatives to leave out a SALT cap repeal, both from a policy and public relations perspective,” said NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Sheila Reynertson. “Including a big tax cut for wealthy individuals would have completely undermined the provisions in the bill that make the tax code fairer.” [NJ Monitor / Nikita Biryukov]
Congress has failed to raise the federal minimum wage since 2009, eroding its value to the lowest point since 1956 and pushing millions of workers into poverty. On Tik Tok, Dave Kamper from the Economic Policy Institute highlights how the last time the minimum wage was worth as little as it is today, I Love Lucy was the number one show on TV and Yogi Berra was the highest paid baseball player. Click the link for a blast from the past. [Economic Policy Institute / Dave Kamper]
The Temp Workers’ Bill of Rights passed the Senate earlier this week and now awaits Governor Murphy’s signature. Big congratulations to all of the workers, advocates, and legislative champions who made this possible! [NJ.com / Kelly Heyboer]
Pets of NJPP
Meet Simone, Katie Brennan and Travis Miles’ cat! We’ve featured Simone here once before, but I was sent this picture earlier today and would feel really guilty if I didn’t share it with you all. Meow!
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