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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With the midterm elections less than a week away, polls show that the number one concern of American voters is health care, and rightfully so. Almost half of those living in New Jersey – 3.8 million – have preexisting conditions and rely on the protections granted in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [NJPP / Raymond Castro]
Federal threats to the ACA, along with proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, could harm millions of New Jerseyans. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act alone would result in the loss of health coverage for 800,000 residents. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of health care hinges on the midterm elections. [NJ BIZ / Anthony Vecchione]
Earlier this week New Jersey became the 10th state in the nation to guarantee workers paid sick days. Employees now earn one hour of sick time for every thirty hours worked, for up to 40 hours of paid sick time a year. Workers can use this time to take off for illness, take care of family members, or attend their child’s school-related meetings. [Asbury Park Press / Michael Diamond]
New Jersey’s tipped wage has been stuck at $2.13 for 27 years, but it may go up soon. Under a new bill proposed by Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, the tipped minimum wage would be completely phased out. Seven states, including the entire west coast, do not have a tipped sub-minimum wage. [NJ Spotlight / John Reitmeyer]
There are 193,000 tipped workers in New Jersey, including 78,000 waiters or bar staff. Because tipped workers rely on tips for the majority of their pay, they are at the mercy of their bosses and customers. This troubling power dynamic explains why tipped workers are more likely to be sexually assaulted or have their wages stolen. [NJPP / Brandon McKoy]
Ron Rivers, founder and CEO of Love2brew Homebrew Supply, wrote an op-ed in the Star Ledger outlining how a $15 minimum wage will benefit New Jersey’s businesses. Ron argues that workers earning less than $15 an hour have little money to spend in their local economies, depressing the state’s economy. Ron pays all of his workers at least $15 an hour and believes the rest of the state’s businesses should follow suit. [NJ.com / Ron Rivers]
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