July 27, 2009: What Does Another 80 Cents a Day Buy? Not Enough!

On July 24, the federal minimum wage rose to $7.25 per hour. With it, thousands of New Jersey’s minimum wage workers saw a 10-cent increase in their hourly wage. This is nothing to be proud of, especially since the state’s median household income of $67,035 makes New Jerseyans the second highest income earners in the country.

July 20, 2009: New report is critical of long-term tax abatements

New Jersey’s long-term tax abatement law has flaws that prevent it from being used as intended, according to findings in the new NJPP report All That Glitters Isn’t Gold: Property Tax Abatements in Jersey City. The report shows the need for strict state oversight, enforcement and standards to ensure decisions granting tax abatements are necessary and benefit all taxpayers.

July 13, 2009: As economy slumps, summer feeding programs see increased need

New Jersey’s unemployment rate of 8.8 percent is still better than the national average, but in many low-income communities job losses have surged to over 13 percent. As a result, cities such as New Brunswick, Elizabeth and Newark are gearing up to feed thousands of hungry kids this summer through networks of food banks and feeding sites in summer schools and at community organizations.

July 6, 2009: Time to shore up beach restoration

New Jersey’s crown jewel of 127 coastline miles spans from Sandy Hook to Cape May and attracts visitors from all over the world. Especially now in a sagging economy, beaches remain one of the most cost-effective forms of natural recreation (usually costing less than the price of a movie ticket) and provide economic and environmental benefits as well.

June 29, 2009: Budget and RAD

New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget has been approved by the legislature and NJPP is analyzing the hundreds of pages of revenues, expenditures and appropriations for a special summary coming soon. In the meantime, here are highlights of the work NJPP did on the Economic Stimulus Act passed by the legislature Thursday, the same day the budget was approved.