NJPP Testimony: The State Budget Can Do More to Make New Jersey Affordable for All

At the first public legislative hearing on the FY 2023 state budget, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) urged lawmakers to prioritize policies that would make the state affordable for all, not just the wealthy and well-connected. In testimony delivered virtually this morning, the think tank called for a budget that includes direct payments and cash assistance for hard-working families to reduce poverty and food insecurity, improve family finances, and stimulate the broader economy.

Peter Chen, Senior Policy Analyst, NJPP:

“We have been hearing the drumbeat on making New Jersey “affordable” but as we have noted, the question we must ask is “affordable for who?” New Jersey’s economy works best when it works for all of us.

“An inclusive recovery is one where we prioritize making the state affordable for those hit hardest by the pandemic — Black and Hispanic/Latinx workers, students, families, and communities in particular. That’s why it’s so important that the FY 2023 budget advances changes which make the tax code more equitable and the state more affordable for low- and moderate-income households.

“NJPP has proposed a package of programs to put money back in the pockets of these families and individuals, including:

  • A state-level Child Tax Credit;
  • Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, both in amount and eligibility;
  • Replenishment of the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund;
  • Reforms to WorkFirst New Jersey that improve eligibility and benefits.

“There’s no need to overthink this. We have plenty of evidence from the pandemic that direct payments and cash assistance work to reduce poverty and food insecurity, improve family finances, and stimulate the economy. Making New Jersey affordable for low- and moderate-income households means giving them the resources they need to find economic security for themselves and their families.”

Read the full testimony here.

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New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) is a nonpartisan think tank that drives policy change to advance economic, social, and racial justice through evidence-based, independent research, analysis, and advocacy.

 

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