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Paterson police disproportionately use force against Black people, according to a new analysis of statewide data by NJ Spotlight News. Between October 2020 and February of this year, 55 percent of reported use of force — including takedowns, kicks and punches, and use of pepper spray and firearms — involved a Black person, even though a mere 23 percent of city residents are Black. Since 2015, Paterson police have shot and killed more people than any other police force in the state other than Newark. In the wake of the tragic police killing of Najee Seabrooks, community groups and social justice advocates have called for a federal investigation of the Paterson police department. [NJ Spotlight News / Colleen O’Dea]
North Jersey is the most competitive rental market in the country, according to a new analysis released last week. The study found that the North Jersey region — including 145 municipalities across Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic Counties — has an occupancy rate of nearly 97 percent, with an estimated 72 percent of renters renewing their leases. Remember this the next time someone cites a random moving company as “proof” that people are fleeing the state. This isn’t all good news, however, as the lack of housing supply has driven up rent prices, stretching budgets thin. [NorthJersey.com / Daniel Munoz]
State lawmakers should prioritize policies that benefit working families, like expanding the Child Tax Credit, instead of giving a $1 billion tax cut to corporations like Amazon and Walmart, writes Mariela Silva, a member of Make the Road New Jersey and working mom who benefitted from the new state-level credit passed last year. While Governor Murphy’s budget proposal would double the existing credit for children under six, it does not expand eligibility to children up to 11 years old, as proposed earlier this year by Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson. Legislators can still choose to expand eligibility in their budget proposal, but that will be difficult if they also choose to blow a billion-dollar hole in the budget by cutting the corporate tax rate. [Insider NJ / Mariela Silva]
New Jersey has more than 1,000 miles of freight rail lines where trains carry hazardous and volatile materials past homes, schools, parks, and Main Streets across the state. Want to know what they’re carrying? Good luck — it’s a secret, and this lack of transparency leaves local governments, first responders, and residents unprepared for rail catastrophes like the recent derailment in East Palestine. And it’s not a matter of if a derailment will happen, but when: New Jersey has averaged four train accidents per month over the last four years. [NJ Monitor / Dana DiFilippo]
Earlier this week, lawmakers quietly introduced a bill that would radically transform New Jersey’s corporate business tax code and give another big tax cut to multi-national corporations. Specifically, the bill would open up new loopholes that will make it much easier for corporations to off-shore their profits to international tax havens. We’re working on an analysis breaking this all down, but in the meantime check out this thread for more info. [Twitter / Louis Di Paolo]
Pets of NJPP
Here’s a picture of my cat, Mau, trying to break into a box of treats. Could you imagine if cats had thumbs? Meow!
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