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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1 in 7
New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the nation, yet one in seven children currently live in poverty. In a new editorial, The Star Ledger recommends state lawmakers address this by expanding the Child Tax Credit this fall so more children and families qualify, citing an NJPP report by Peter Chen that recommends extending the credit to kids up to age 12. From the editorial: “New Jersey should be the best place to raise a child, not the most arduous. We have proof that boosting a family’s income pays long-term dividends, because it improves a child’s health, education outcome, and life. We can’t make a better investment.” [The Star-Ledger / Editorial Board]
The New Jersey State Police pull over Black and Hispanic/Latinx drivers at an “unacceptable” rate, according to a new analysis of more than 6 million traffic stops between 2009 and 2021. The report found that Black and Hispanic/Latinx drivers represented 46 percent of all traffic stops and were more likely to be searched, asked to step out of their vehicles, arrested, and face use of force — even though those searches were less likely to yield evidence of a crime. The study also found that Black and brown drivers were more likely to be pulled over during the daytime, when the sun is out and skin color is more visible. [Gothamist / Arya Sundaram]
A mere eight percent of New Jersey lawmakers received an ‘A’ rating on racial justice issues in a new report card released by the New Jersey Black Empowerment Coalition. Meanwhile, 25 percent of lawmakers received ‘D’ grades. These scores are a testament to the types of bills that the Legislature has prioritized in the last couple of years — from tax cuts that disproportionately benefit white residents to “tough on crime” bills that will disproportionately harm Black residents. “Bills that would help support marginalized communities are being left and not being moved forward, and I think that is a concern, not just for African Americans and other marginalized communities, but for the state of New Jersey,” said Tomas Varela Jr., the group’s Executive Director. [NJ Monitor / Nikita Biryukov]
Rutgers University is raising tuition by 6 percent, more than double last year’s increase. While there are a lot of factors that go into tuition rates, this is part of a larger trend where most states are providing significantly less funding to colleges and universities than they did prior to the Great Recession, passing the costs on to students. This is a great example of what happens when lawmakers prioritize billion-dollar tax cuts for corporations and wealthy homeowners instead of investing those funds in public goods that benefit all of us. [NJ.com / Tina Kelley]
The Fund for New Jersey is looking for a new President! Check out the job posting and make sure to share it with anyone who you think would be a great fit. [Fund for New Jersey]
Pets of NJPP
NJPP Policy Director Awinna Martinez’s pup Lulu has a fresh haircut and is ready for the summer. Woof!
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