Friday Facts and Figures is a weekly newsletter with data points, analysis, and commentary on the biggest policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
Sign up here.
The Temp Workers’ Bill of Rights is heading to the Senate — again — for a vote on Monday. The bill would make sure temp workers get the same pay and benefits as traditional workers, prevent companies from deducting fees from workers’ paychecks, and require agencies to provide advance notice of work assignments and working conditions. The proposal was originally passed this summer but had to be voted on again due to a procedural error. It was then pulled unexpectedly last month due to absences in the Legislature, but the bill’s prime sponsor Sen. Joe Cryan is confident it will have the votes needed to pass next week. And after years of waiting, it’s about time. [NJ Monitor / Sophie Nieto-Muños and Dana DiFilippo]
In a big win for reproductive freedom, lawmakers advanced a bill on Monday that would allow pharmacists to dispense birth control without a prescription — as is the case in 21 other states. After the Dobbs decision, states like New Jersey need to do everything in their power to expand access to reproductive rights and allow residents to decide when and how to grow their families. Advocates are calling for the bill to be amended, however, as it currently does not address cost barriers to contraceptives, which is needed to make sure birth control is truly accessible to all. Remember, rights alone do not equal access. [NJ Monitor / Dana DiFilippo]
Flashback to six weeks ago, state and local officials celebrated the opening of Party City’s new corporate headquarters in Bergen County — a move aided by $10 million in state tax breaks in return for 700 jobs. Fast forward to this week, and Party City announced plans to cut its global workforce by 19 percent, calling into question whether it still qualifies for its corporate subsidy award. Fortunately, the company has yet to receive a penny in tax breaks, according to New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan, and the final tax break amount will be determined by how many workers they keep on staff. Regardless, the new headquarters is a consolidation of offices in surrounding counties (Morris and Westchester), so it’s an open question as to how many of the jobs “created” are actually new. [NorthJersey.com / Daniel Munoz]
The online retail giant Amazon was the focus of a congressional hearing earlier this week on warehouse worker safety. The hearing was requested by Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) after three Amazon workers died at New Jersey warehouses this summer, and a report by NJPP and Rutgers found that Amazon accounted for 57 percent of the state’s warehouse sector injuries. Amazon was also in the news this week for surpassing $5 billion in state and local tax breaks across the country. “Governments are wasting huge sums subsidizing Amazon even as the pandemic drove record growth for the company, and repeated exposés have shown the deplorable working conditions of its warehouse workers,” said Kasia Tarczynska, Senior Research Analyst at Good Jobs First. [CBS News / Brandon Goldner]
A whopping 65 percent of New Jersey residents oppose county parties giving endorsed candidates preferential placement on primary ballots, according to a new poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and fewer than one in five residents support the practice. As NJPP has reported before, New Jersey’s primary ballots are unlike those of any other state, and they give party-backed candidates an enormous advantage in primary elections. “The fact that these laws continue to exist despite their large-scale rejection by so many voters … is proof-positive of a fundamental breakdown of democracy and good governance,” said Brett Pugach, an attorney challenging “the line” in federal court. [NorthJersey.com / David Zimmer]
High hospital prices cost New Jersey more than $1.2 billion every year, according to a new report by Senior Policy Analyst Brittany Holom-Trundy, Ph.D. The report, People Pay, Hospitals Profit: Rising Prices Drive High Health Care Costs, was released on Wednesday in Atlantic City to coincide with the launch of the New Jersey Coalition for Affordable Hospitals. [ROI-NJ / Tom Bergeron]
TikTok of NJPP
So … with Twitter slowly crumbling before our eyes, what better time to pivot to video! In a new TikTok, NJPP’s Marleina Ubel breaks down how, in New Jersey, the constitutional right to an attorney is behind a paywall. Watch to learn more about the high cost of “free” legal representation. [NJPP / Marleina Ubel]
Have a fact or figure for us? Tweet it to @NJPolicy.