Newark, NJ, January 9, 2024— New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) Executive Director Dena Mottola Jaborska released the following statement on Governor Murphy’s upcoming State of the State address and the Reorganization of the New Jersey Legislature.
“This year marks the beginning of Governor Murphy’s final two years of his second term and the year the 2025 Governor’s race will begin in earnest. 2024 is a critical year for the Governor and the Legislature to advance solutions that will close the persistent wealth and equity gaps in New Jersey and make our state more affordable for our low-and moderate-income families.
“We applaud and are grateful for the many impactful reforms enacted by our Governor and Legislature. This month we look forward to Governor Murphy signing transformative laws enhancing the rights of domestic workers and increasing language access for non-English speakers. In the past 6 years, we’ve seen landmark laws enacted on our state’s minimum wage, our paid leave program, expanding access to healthcare, affordable housing, and many on other issues vital to New Jersey’s working families.
“But we need our elected leaders to build on these crucial reforms. If we don’t continue our fight against systemic racial, social, and economic inequities too many New Jerseyans will struggle in this era of rising costs and inflation. According to United Way’s 2023 ALICE report 1.3 million New Jerseyans now live in poverty, and a household of 4 needs to earn close to $100,000 per year just to afford basic necessities.
“We can best address New Jersey’s most critical needs by
- Renewing the Corporate Business Tax Surcharge
- Expanding health care to the remaining 600K uninsured New Jerseyans
- Ensuring New Jerseyans who remain eligible do not lose their health coverage in the Medicaid redetermination process
- Increasing access to paid leave for low earning workers by guaranteeing job protection to all
- Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit to put dollars back in the pockets of working families.
- Increasing TANF benefits to ensure the program can help poor families climb out of poverty
- Alleviating and protecting consumers from medical debt
- Expanding earned sick and safe days to eight
- Increasing affordable housing statewide
- Eliminating discrimination in auto insurance and housing appraisals
- Continuing to invest in the Social Impact Investment Fund and establish NJ public bank
- Increasing staffing in state programs serving the public to eliminate delays, improve accessibility, and ensure high-quality, timely services.
“We urge Governor Murphy and our Legislature, particularly our many new legislators, to build on this legacy of impactful reform. We urge them to tackle both the systemic and emerging issues facing our state’s working families. We look forward to working with all our elected leaders towards a New Jersey where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and prosper.”