November 23, 2009: Thanks and Giving

New Jersey is one of the richest states in the nation and certain counties are among the richest places in the world to live; and yet about 10 percent of households in this state face hunger. We want to believe that hunger only affects people in developing countries or in poor southern states. But two percent more households in New Jersey were hungry in 2007 than were hungry in the preceding 4 years. This is an alarming trend.

November 16, 2009: House bill would provide a safety net for those losing health insurance

Over the last seven years, New Jersey employers dropped insurance coverage for workers at a rate faster than the national average, according to economist Elise Gould in her new report Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Erosion Continues. The nearly seven percent drop (from 75.6 percent to 68.7 percent) is the 14th largest percentage decline in the nation.

November 9, 2009: Raise the wage. Protect those who need it most.

If New Jersey’s minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, minimum wage workers today would be paid $8.69 per hour instead of $7.25. And the only reason New Jersey’s minimum wage is actually $7.25 an hour right now is that the state wage is tied to the federal wage. In July of this year, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act mandated a third and final minimum wage increase.

November 2, 2009: Succession Shenanigans End November 3

Election Day tomorrow brings something new to the state – the election of New Jersey’s first lieutenant governor.

October 26, 2009: No rules? No problem for first tax increment financing award

Even before the state’s new tax increment financing (TIF) program is fully operational with rules and regulations, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has made a preliminary award for the first TIF — $14.6 million to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a large financial services company. Under TIF, the amount of money DTCC will receive depends on the amount of corporation business taxes the company pays New Jersey. Instead of going to the state treasury, a portion of those taxes will be used to reimburse for renovations to the Jersey City office building where DTCC plans to move 1,600 workers now based in Manhattan.