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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There are nine (!!!) bills up in committee on Monday that would roll back bail reform and upgrade criminal penalties for a variety of crimes. Make no mistake, these bills will not make us safer, but they will result in longer prison sentences and exacerbate racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Take action now and tell your lawmakers that we can’t go back on bail reform. [ACLU of New Jersey]
Lawmakers have shared their “thoughts and prayers” for victims of police violence, but they have done little to back up those sentiments with criminal justice reform policies. While several bills aimed at promoting police accountability and transparency have stalled in the Legislature, lawmakers are instead advancing “tough on crime” bills that will harm Black and brown residents. “Nationwide, we had lots of expressions of condolences and sympathy, right?” said Yannick Wood, Director of the Criminal Justice Reform Program at New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “But there has to be a shift in policy, there has to be movements on either directives or legislation to meet those words, otherwise, those words ring hollow.” [NJ Spotlight News / Taylor Jung]
Okay, now for some good news: Earlier this week, Governor Murphy signed the Temp Workers’ Bill of Rights into law — a huge win for workers across the state. The new law — which includes wage guarantees, workplace protections, and enforcement provisions — would not have been possible without the tireless advocacy of Make the Road New Jersey, New Labor, and various other labor and immigrants rights organizations. “This bill didn’t happen in a vacuum. It happened because a whole lot of people saw the wrong and wanted the right. I really want to thank them,” said bill sponsor Senator Joe Cryan. [NJ Monitor / Nikita Biryukov]
More exciting news: The Star-Ledger Editorial Board endorsed an expansion to the New Jersey Child Tax Credit (CTC), calling on lawmakers to “go bold” and expand the program in next year’s budget. The editorial points to the CTC as a proven way to reduce child poverty and support hard-working families, citing NJPP’s recent report proposing a two-fold expansion to the CTC so more families are eligible and for higher credit amounts. Here’s a snippet from the editorial: “It’s one of the best investments that government can make because it pays back in dividends … The original effort passed with bipartisan support last year. Now, let’s go bold and expand it.” [The Star-Ledger / Editorial Board]
The deadline to apply for ANCHOR property tax relief benefits is right around the corner! Eligible homeowners *and* renters have until the end of the month to apply. More information about the ANCHOR program and the application is available online or by calling 1-888-238-1233. [NJ Spotlight News / John Reitmeyer]
Shout out to NJPP President Nicole Rodriguez for being named to ROI-NJ’s 2023 Power List! We appreciate the apt write up: “Yes, the opinion comes from the left — but it also comes with facts and figures.” We also want to extend a big congratulations to all of the other advocates and labor leaders recognized here! [ROI-NJ]
Pets of NJPP
Meet Tuna, a Jersey City cat who just turned nine years old! Tuna enjoys waking up early, basking in the sun, and working from home with her cat-parent Rachael O’Brien.
Have a fact or figure for us? Tweet it to @NJPolicy.