AARP New Jersey Applauds Governor Murphy’s FY 2022 Budget Proposal
Good News for Older Workers and Retirees
Statement from Evelyn Liebman, AARP New Jersey Director of Advocacy
NEW BRUNSWICK (Feb. 23, 2021) – “On behalf of AARP’s more than 1 million Garden State members – and all New Jerseyans – AARP New Jersey applauds Governor Murphy’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 state budget that supports older New Jerseyans’ health and financial security, particularly during the current health and economic crisis.
“We applaud Governor Murphy’s proposal to eliminate the age cap on New Jersey’s Earned Income Tax Credit program (EITC). EITC is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in the state. Currently, the program is not available to workers over the age of 64 – despite our workforce getting older, working longer, and having the fastest growing labor pool be workers 65-plus. Under the Governor’s proposal, all older workers, regardless of their age, will benefit from the NJ EITC and the increased financial security it provides.
“Financial security in retirement is a core component of AARP’s mission to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, including for generations to come. AARP fights at both the federal and state level to ensure that all workers who have paid into their public pension systems over a lifetime of hard work have the economic security that their pensions afford in retirement. AARP applauds Governor Murphy’s proposal to fully fund the public pension system, the first time since 1996. Full funding is important to ensure the financial security of hundreds of thousands of public sector workers and their families and improve the overall health of the system.
“For the 1.7 million private sector workers who don’t have a way to save for retirement at work, we look forward to working with the Administration to stand up the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program. In 2019, Governor Murphy enacted Secure Choice, which is a public-private partnership that will allow many hardworking New Jerseyans to have a retirement savings option that puts them in control of their futures. Under the statute, the program is set to open its doors in March 2022.
“New Jerseyans, particularly older residents and those with disabilities living on low-, moderate- and fixed-incomes, have always struggled with New Jersey’s high property taxes. We commend Governor Murphy’s proposal to fund New Jersey’s Senior Freeze (Property Tax Reimbursement) and Homestead Benefit programs and look forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature to explore ways to update and expand these relief programs.
“These critical property tax relief programs support hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents who need the programs to afford to remain in their homes and communities, where they want to be. The Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit programs are more important than ever, as families have been hit especially hard by the health and economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Lastly, we applaud the Governor’s proposal to expand New Jersey’s Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold programs, which would allow 20,000 additional seniors to quality for this critical assistance. Prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. Residents of all ages depend on their prescriptions, and no one should have to choose between food and medicine.
“We look forward to working with the Governor and the NJ Legislature in the coming weeks and months to finalize a budget that includes these and other important priorities to ensure the financial and health security for all during these very challenging times.
About AARP New Jersey
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nj or follow @AARPNJ on social media.