Friday Facts and Figures is a brief digital newsletter focusing on data points from NJPP reports, research, and policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
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Here’s your chance to have your voice heard on next year’s state budget! The first of four public budget committee hearings is this upcoming Tuesday at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark. These hearings provide advocates, policy experts, and the general public an opportunity to testify on what they want included in the FY 2021 budget. NJPP and members of the For The Many NJ coalition will be there Tuesday morning, wearing green, in support of renewed investments in our communities and a fairer tax code that ensures millionaires and big corporations pay their fair share. [NJ Spotlight / John Reitmeyer]
It’s been eight months since New Jersey’s corporate tax subsidy programs expired as state lawmakers remain gridlocked on potential reforms. Has the sky fallen without these programs? Quite the opposite — business is booming in New Jersey, acting as further proof that a lack of a corporate subsidy program has not hindered economic growth. As NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Sheila Reynertson told The Star-Ledger, “This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as there is no evidence that corporate tax breaks have any impact on a state’s broader economic performance.” [NJ.com / Ted Sherman]
As a result of welfare reforms passed in the 1990s, far fewer families living in poverty have access to federal cash assistance. Enrollment in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has plummeted since the program’s inception due to a lack of federal minimum eligibility standards, which allows states to enact barriers to the program, and flat funding. Today, for every 100 families with children living in poverty, only 22 receive TANF assistance. In 1979, 82 of every 100 such families received federal cash assistance. If TANF had the same reach of its predecessor — Aid to Families with Dependent Children — 2.4 million more families nationwide would receive TANF benefits. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities / Ife Floyd]
On Wednesday, federal Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that Gateway Tunnel construction will be delayed indefinitely as a required environmental impact statement will not be completed anytime soon. The original deadline for this report was set for two years ago — March 2018. Representative Tom Malinowski (NJ-7) called the administration’s delay “bogus,” saying “This is obviously their latest excuse for not having a good explanation for sitting on this report for two years past their own self-imposed deadline.” [NJ.com / Larry Higgs and Jonathan D. Salant]
With the 2020 U.S. Census right around the corner, advocates and state officials have a simple message for families across the state: don’t forget to count your kids! Children between infancy and five years old are the most-likely demographic to be missed by the census, and new data shows that approximately 500,000 kids in New Jersey are at risk of being missed. An undercount could result in New Jersey receiving less than its fair share of federal grants and aid as these numbers are determined by census data. [NJ.com / Dale Shoemaker and Disha Raychaudhuri]
Catch NJPP President Brandon McKoy on the latest episode of News 12’s Power and Politics! Tune it at the 14:50 minute-mark to watch Brandon discuss Governor Murphy’s budget address and how the state can craft a budget that prioritizes low- and middle-income families over special interests. [News 12 New Jersey / Power & Politics]
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