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: 14,575,561
Fully Vaccinated People: 6,945,412
[New Jersey Department of Health / COVID-19 Dashboard]
What a week. Even by New Jersey standards, the last few days of budget season were an absolute mess. As of Monday morning, there was no budget. By day’s end, more than 60 bills were introduced and passed out of committee, with lawmakers finally unveiling a $50.6 billion budget proposal and approving it — all within 25 minutes and without anyone having time to read the bill. There are some new, important investments in the budget, namely the creation of a Child Tax Credit, but many other proposals aimed at helping those with the least were left on the cutting room floor. Read NJPP’s budget recap for highlights on what made it into the new budget and what was left out. [NJPP / Sheila Reynertson, Peter Chen, Brittany Holom-Trundy, Marleina Ubel, and Alex Ambrose]
New Jersey is the latest state to enact a Child Tax Credit! The new law — originally proposed in an NJPP report by Senior Policy Analyst Peter Chen in February — will provide families with up to $500 for every child under the age of 6. Modeled on the highly successful federal Child Tax Credit, this will help families meet the high costs of raising kids, making the Garden State a more affordable place to grow a family. “This program will provide working families a critical lifeline for basic needs like food, housing, child care, and more,” said NJPP President Nicole Rodriguez. [NorthJersey.com / Daniel Munoz]
Earlier this year, New Jersey lawmakers codified the right to abortion care in state law. Rights alone do not guarantee access, however, as NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Brittany Holom-Trundy explained to NJ Spotlight News. The cost of abortion care makes it out of reach for those who are uninsured, low-paid, and have no savings. Fortunately, the new state budget includes $45 million for family planning services in response to the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade, but it’s unclear exactly how those funds will be spent. Regardless, now is as good a time as ever to donate to your local abortion access fund. [NJ Spotlight News / Taylor Jung]
Big congratulations to NJPP’s David Nelson and Erica Boland for being named to Insider NJ’s 2022 Insider OUT 100: LGBTQ Power List! There are lots of friendly faces on the list, so make sure to check it out by clicking the link. [Insider NJ / Jay Lassiter]
Earlier today, we shared some exciting updates about NJPP’s 25th anniversary celebration in September: This year’s Progress 2022 policy conference will feature keynote speaker Taifa Smith Butler, President of Demos, and our 25th Anniversary Gala will feature honorees Hetty Rosenstein, Michellene Davis, and the Honorable James J. Florio! Click the link for info on our keynotes and honorees, and remember to register before July 13 to take advantage of the early registration discount! [NJPP / Celebrate 25]
Pets of NJPP
No “pet” this week, but here’s a picture of a raccoon that sometimes visits Erica Boland’s kitchen window. Woof! (I have no idea what noise a raccoon makes.)
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