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A coalition of unions and advocates sent an open letter to Governor Murphy and legislative leadership last Friday urging them to extend the Corporate Business Tax surcharge to fund public services and programs that residents rely on. Instead of giving a tax cut to big businesses like Amazon and Walmart, the state could use revenue from this tax to expand pre-K to 37,000 kids, build 5,000 affordable homes, or purchase 1,500 electric school buses. Click the link to see NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Sheila Reynertson on NJ Spotlight News where she makes clear that giving a big tax cut to the most profitable corporations in the world sends the wrong message to families struggling to get by. [NJ Spotlight News / Rhonda Schaeffler]
The Murphy administration told state pension officials to expect another full payment into the pension fund in next month’s budget address. This is great news for the retirement security of the state’s 800,000 current and retired government workers; it’s also great news for the state’s financial health after two decades of lawmakers skipping payments. However, with a potential economic downturn on the horizon — and lawmakers ready to give a big tax cut to the most profitable businesses operating in the state — it may be harder for lawmakers to make full pension payments in future years. [NJ Spotlight News / John Reitmeyer]
Earlier this week, lawmakers backed a new bill requiring colleges and universities in New Jersey to carry naloxone. This proposal is the latest step in bolstering the state’s harm reduction efforts and follows Governor Murphy’s recent announcement that naloxone will now be available for free at pharmacies across the state. The bill also includes some coercive measures that run counter to harm reduction best practices, however, including a requirement that anyone who overdoses is transported to an emergency room after naloxone is administered, even if the person’s symptoms have resolved. “[Naloxone] should absolutely be made widely available on college campuses to staff and students alike to be prepared to respond to an opioid overdose,” said Jenna Mellor, Executive Director of the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition. [NJ Spotlight News / Bobby Brier]
Up to 352,000 New Jerseyans are at risk of losing health coverage under NJ FamilyCare after President Biden signed an end to the federal public health emergency last month. While it’s unclear exactly how many residents will be moved off Medicaid plans, the Department of Human Services is sending redetermination documents to enrollees who will have to respond to remain insured. To prevent residents from losing access to health care, advocates and community groups are joining the state in outreach efforts to assist those who were disenrolled in obtaining new health coverage through the state marketplace. [NJ Monitor / Nikita Biryukov]
Later today, the Memphis Police are scheduled to release body cam footage showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols. While the coverage of Tyre Nichols’ murder will be particularly painful because of its brutality, the uninterrupted trend of police violence should surprise no one. In the entirety of 2022, there were only 9 days when police did not kill people in the United States. According to Mapping Police Violence, killings by police averaged nearly 100 people per month. Click the link from the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice for resources on knowing your rights while protesting and how to create space for yourself to grieve and process the news. [New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice]
Big congratulations to NJPP President Nicole Rodriguez for being named to Senator Loretta Weinberg’s 2023 Women’s Power List! There are lots of friendly faces on the list, so make sure to check it out by clicking the link. [Insider NJ / Loretta Weinberg]
Pets of NJPP
Say hello to Triscuit, one of Alex Ambrose’s many cats. Triscuit enjoys torturing her cat siblings and eating their treats (seen here). We also have our first Pets of NJPP correction: Last week’s dog, Bella, belongs to Roxanne Sutocky of The Women’s Centers, not to Jasmine (sorry, Roxanne!). Meow!
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