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: 8,202,463
Fully Vaccinated People: 3,978,670
[New Jersey Department of Health / COVID-19 Dashboard]
State lawmakers are advancing legislation to ban counties, municipalities, and private prisons from entering, renewing, or extending contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain immigrants. The bill, which passed through the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Thursday, gained momentum after Essex County announced last month that they would end their contract with ICE this summer. Immigrants’ rights activists have been sounding the alarm on the human rights abuses in ICE detention facilities for years. In addition to the contract with Essex County, ICE has similar agreements with Hudson and Bergen Counties and the privately-run Elizabeth Detention Center in Union County. [NJ.com / Sophie Nieto-Munoz]
To prevent a wave of evictions once the state’s pandemic eviction moratorium ends, lawmakers are putting together a housing protection bill that advocates say falls short of the need. The proposal includes $750 million in rental assistance and prevents landlords from evicting certain low- and middle-income tenants who missed rent payments during the pandemic. Housing advocates are urging lawmakers to amend the bill to further extend tenant protections, freeze rent, prevent landlords from selling debt to debt collectors, and provide tenants an opportunity to work out a repayment plan with their landlords. [NorthJersey.com / Ashley Balcerzak]
The American Rescue Plan expands tax credits for low-paid workers and their families — but most of the provisions in the federal law are only temporary. As NJPP Policy Analyst Vineeta Kapahi outlines here, state lawmakers can and should act now to strengthen state-level tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC). Vineeta also recommends lawmakers create a state version of the Child Tax Credit to better support working parents. [NJPP / Vineeta Kapahi]
Former NJPP President Gordon MacInnes has a new report outlining the positive benefits of connecting pre-K to equally high-quality early education. As Gordon highlights here, pre-K can help provide opportunities later in life to kids in low-income families, but the benefits of pre-K can disappear without strong literacy efforts in K-3 classrooms. The report uses Union City as an example for other districts to follow, as the city has had great success in prioritizing reading and writing in K-3 classrooms, providing students with tutoring to address their unique educational needs, and promoting collaboration between teachers, students, and parents. [NJPP / Gordon MacInnes]
We are thrilled to announce the next event in our virtual speaker series, Progress 2021: Reimagining Public Safety. This event will feature Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance; Rev. Dr. Charles Boyer, Director of Salvation and Social Justice; and Ami Kachalia, Campaign Strategist at the ACLU-NJ. Click the link to register! [NJPP / Progress 2021]
Pets of NJPP
Meet Badger, co-working cat of Caitlin Sherman. She has lots of opinions, loves shredding paper towels, going for walks, and eating grass. Her favorite mode of transportation is riding a human’s shoulders. She also enjoys early morning belly rubs, watching YouTube videos of birds, and exploring new territory. Meow!
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