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: 12,953,374
Fully Vaccinated People: 6,110,173
[New Jersey Department of Health / COVID-19 Dashboard]
New Interim President!
Some big organizational news: Jon Shure, founding President of NJPP, has returned to the organization as Interim President! In this role, Jon will support the leadership transition following the departure of Brandon McKoy. “There are few, if any, people who know NJPP as intimately as Jon does,” said NJPP Board Chair Marcia Marley in an announcement that went out this morning. Read more about Jon’s return by clicking the link. [NJPP]
With open enrollment underway, a new report by NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Brittany Holom-Trundy, Ph.D. finds that far too many New Jerseyans remain uninsured. And, because health insurance is often tied to employment, those who face systemic barriers to good-paying jobs with benefits are the most likely to be uninsured. For instance, 17 percent of New Jersey’s Hispanic/Latinx residents are uninsured, compared to a mere 3.3 percent of white residents. New Jersey’s Black, low-paid, and young adults are also disproportionately uninsured compared to the rest of the population, the report finds. [NJ Spotlight News / Leah Mishkin]
Could a more transparent budget process be coming to Trenton? It could happen thanks to a new bill that passed through the Senate Budget Committee earlier this week! The legislation would create an advisory board to provide consensus revenue forecasts, a budgeting best practice already used by 28 other states and long recommended by budget policy experts (the current process requires both the legislative and executive branches to produce competing forecasts, unnecessarily politicizing the revenue forecasting process). The bill would also require the Governor to report multi-year forecasting of expected spending, more detailed monthly reporting, and an annual financial stress test. “Taken together, these reforms would break the cycle of politically easy maneuvers that have plagued New Jersey’s finances,” NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Sheila Reynertson told NJ Spotlight News. [NJ Spotlight News / John Reitmeyer]
Infrastructure week is finally here! New Jersey will directly receive $12.3 billion to fund repairs and upgrades to roads and highways, transit, and bridges. This is good news for New Jersey’s drivers who drive over 502 “structurally deficient” overpasses every day (yikes!), and commuters who take public transit, as funds are specifically allocated to fund the Gateway Tunnel Project. [Pix 11 / Henry Rosoff]
Here’s an unpopular take: Repealing the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions would disproportionately benefit the wealthiest people — not only in New Jersey but across the nation. Don’t believe us? Then read this new editorial by the Star-Ledger packed with data and analysis from tax policy experts. [NJ.com / Star-Ledger Editorial Board]
A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds broad support for protecting and expanding access to abortion. According to the poll, more than two-thirds of New Jerseyans are “very” (41 percent) or “somewhat” (24 percent) concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court possibly overturning Roe v. Wade. [Rutgers University]
Pets of NJPP
Meet Goose, co-working pet of Liesl and Haley. Goose is a timeless gem. His ancient, wise spirit and earnest face bring endless joy to his two moms. Goose loves chicken. Goose hates baths. Woof!
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