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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A new directive by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal severely limits how the state’s 36,000 law enforcement officials can interact with federal immigration enforcement. The “Immigrant Trust Directive” will ban law enforcement from stopping, arresting, or detaining individuals based solely on their immigration status, and bans participation in civil immigration enforcement and raids. This new directive promotes public safety by restoring trust and cooperation with law enforcement in immigrant communities. [NorthJersey.com / Hannan Adeley]
New Jersey could soon join 12 states and the District of Columbia by expanding access to driver’s licenses to all residents, regardless of immigration status. A new bill introduced by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano and Senator Joe Vitale would create a federally compliant REAL ID license and a “standard” license for residents who cannot meet the Six-Point ID Verification Program. Expanding access to licenses will make New Jersey roads safer as more drivers are trained, tested, and insured. [NorthJersey.com / Steph Solis]
3 Times More Likely
This week NJ Advance Media released The Force Report, the most comprehensive statewide database of police force in the nation. Among the report’s findings, a black person in New Jersey is three times more likely to face police force than someone who is white. The report includes more than 72,000 use of force reports from every municipal police department and the State Police from 2012 to 2016. [NJ.com / Stephen Stirling and S.P. Sullivan]
The Fight for $15 movement was launched six years ago when fast-food workers in New York walked off their jobs to demand $15 an hour and a union. Since then, 22 million low-paid workers across the country have secured $68 billion in annual raises. New Jersey could be the next state to pass $15 minimum wage legislation, which will impact more than 1 million Garden State workers. [National Employment Law Project]
In a joint legislative hearing, committees from the Senate and Assembly passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use. The bill, which now goes to the full Legislature for a vote, will tax marijuana sales at 12 percent, far lower than previously expected. NJPP reported two years ago that a 25 percent tax rate would net the state at least $300 million in new revenue. [NJ.com / Payton Guion]
NJPP’s Brandon McKoy was quoted at length in this NJ.com article detailing why New Jersey has yet to pass $15 minimum wage legislation. With Chris Christie no longer standing in the way, Democrats in the legislature have yet come to agreement on the bill’s details, namely whether to carve out certain workers. Brandon points out that no worker should be left behind as, “there is nowhere in the state where a single worker can make ends meet on less than $15.” [NJ.com / Samantha Marcus]
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