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: 12,023,983
Fully Vaccinated People: 5,961,522
[New Jersey Department of Health / COVID-19 Dashboard]
New Jersey is one step closer to a more inclusive pandemic recovery with the launch of the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund website. Eligible households may apply for up to $2,000 in assistance once the application portal opens later this month. The $40 million fund, established after months of protests and hunger strikes by immigrants’ rights activists, will provide pandemic relief to undocumented immigrants and others excluded from federal aid. Even so, the program will only reach a fraction of the state’s roughly 500,000 undocumented immigrants unless the state provides additional funding. [NJ Spotlight News / Rhonda Schaffler]
5 Times More
A big new report by NJPP Policy Analyst Marleina Ubel makes a strong case for reimagining public safety and making robust community investments that target the structural root causes of crime. The report highlights how the current criminal justice system not only falls short of its stated goals, but also causes a great deal of harm — especially for Black residents. Looking at local budgets in two communities, the City of Elizabeth and Gloucester County, the report finds that police spending is up to five times larger than investments in health and human service programs. [New Jersey Monitor / Dana DiFilippo]
The federal tax code gives preferential treatment to investment income over income from work, according to a new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Given the nation’s long-standing racial wealth gap, white households are the biggest beneficiaries of special tax rules for income from capital gains. In total, 89 percent of unrealized capital gains above $2 million are held by white families even though they make up approximately 65 percent of families with that level of wealth. [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy / Joe Hughes and Emma Sifre]
During the first 14 months of the pandemic, it’s estimated that up to 5,000 children in New Jersey lost caregivers to COVID-19, with the vast majority of those children from Black and Hispanic/Latinx families, according to a new study from researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Boston Children’s Hospital, and multiple universities in England and South Africa. We’ve already seen some of the racial disparities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and this data only adds to the growing list of ways the pandemic disproportionately harmed Black and brown communities. [NJ Spotlight News / Lilo H. Stainton]
The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners unanimously approved new rules from the Murphy administration expanding abortion access, allowing 15,000 nurses, physician assistants, and midwives to perform abortions, and lifted regulations barring the procedure after 14 weeks of pregnancy. Echoing elements within the Reproductive Freedom Act supported by Governor Murphy, these new rules help protect pregnant people’s right to abortions and expand access to critical health services for communities that need it most. [NorthJersey.com / Dustin Racioppi]
Brandon’s virtual farewell event is right around the corner — so make sure to register while you can! Click the link to join us on Zoom in celebrating Brandon’s tenure with NJPP on October 21 at 5:00 PM. [NJPP / Progress 2021]
There’s no pet this week (send me pics for next week, please!), so here’s another ICYMI: Click the link to watch NJPP’s Marleina Ubel break down her latest report on alternatives to policing on NJ Spotlight News. I also want to give a big shout out to Marleina as this is her first report release as a full-time member of the NJPP team. Congrats, Marleina! [NJ Spotlight News / Raven Santana]
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