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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Only one state – New Jersey – has implemented an individual mandate, established a reinsurance program, and banned short-term insurance plans. New Jersey leads the nation in keeping healthcare affordable and combating the Trump administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act. [Center for American Progress / Aditya Krishnaswamy et al.]
Over 1,300 supporters of the Let’s Drive NJ campaign rallied at the State House on Thursday in support of expanded access to driver’s licenses. Allowing New Jersey residents, regardless of immigration status, access to driver’s licenses would result in more trained and insured drivers, making New Jersey roads safer and the economy stronger. [NJ Spotlight / Carly Sitrin]
There are approximately 466,000 undocumented immigrants of driving age in New Jersey who would be eligible for a license under the proposed “New Jersey Safe and Responsible Driver Act.” NJPP estimates that around half of these individuals would receive a driver’s license within three years of the bill’s implementation. [NJPP / Erika Nava]
This year’s budget included $2.1 million in funding for free legal counsel for New Jersey immigrants facing detention and deportation. None of this money has been spent since the passing of the budget as there is no clear process for disbursing funds to attorneys. [The Nation / Michelle Chen]
The cost of living in New Jersey is among the highest in the nation, but the state’s minimum wage of $8.60 fails to reflect that. There are 18 states (and D.C.) with a higher minimum wage than New Jersey. [U.S. News / Melissa Shin & Rebecca Koenig]
In an op-ed in NJ BIZ, NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Sheila Reynertson reflects on the last eight years of trickle-down economic policies and how New Jersey can course correct. Governor Murphy’s first budget was a good start for reinvesting in historically underfunded assets, like schools and infrastructure, but the state needs long-term, sustainable sources of revenue to continue those investments into the future. [NJ BIZ / Sheila Reynertson]
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