Major issues nearly absent from campaign trail, advocates say

Candidates running in this year’s round of legislative races haven’t been shy about where they stand on issues like offshore wind or abortion.

But progressive activists say those seeking to win election to the Legislature on Tuesday missed an opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics they say are on voters’ minds, from NJ Transit to auto insurance prices to racial justice to policing.

Democrats have campaigned on their pledges to make New Jersey more affordable, citing the Anchor tax rebate program and the planned StayNJ tax cut for seniors. But left unmentioned on the campaign trail, according to Maura Collinsgru of consumer advocacy group New Jersey Citizen Action, is a stalled bill that would prohibit insurers from using factors like education, occupation, and credit scores to set drivers’ insurance rates.

“Why are we still allowing this kind of discrimination to continue in New Jersey in 2023? Why are we not codifying the Voting Rights Act? All these issues matter to New Jerseyans, and we need candidates to turn their attention to it,” she said.

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