Posted on March 9, 2016
Early Childhood Bills (S973, S997, S1454, S1455, S1456)
Ceil Zalkind recently testified before the Senate Education Committee on a package of early childhood bills, to both support the legislative proposals and to strengthen some provisions of the bills to better serve children and families.
Read ACNJ testimony.
Childhood Lead Poisoning
ACNJ presented testimony regarding childhood lead poisoning at several hearings.
Lead can cause developmental delays, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and in some cases, convulsions and death. Children six years old and younger are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of lead because their central nervous systems are not fully developed and their bodies absorb and retain it to a greater extent than do the bodies of adults.
Read ACNJ testimony before the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the level of lead in a child’s blood that requires action be taken by local health departments be lowered based upon the research demonstrating that even low blood lead levels can negatively impact IQ and long term health outcomes. S1830 requires the NJ Department of Health to be consistent with the latest recommendations from CDC.
Read ACNJ testimony supporting S1830.
The Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund was created to provide loans and grants to cover the expense of removing lead from houses but over the years, these funds have not been used to address childhood lead poisoning pursuant to the statute. S996 makes a supplemental appropriation to this fund.
Read ACNJ testimony supporting S996.
Child Care Tax Credit
ACNJ testified in support of A331, which establishes a child and dependent care tax credit in New Jersey. Child care is a critical issue in NJ and a significant part of a family’s budget as documented in ACNJ’s 2013 special report, Meeting New Jersey’s Child Care Challenge. ACNJ hopes that A331 can be a foundation for additional proposals that can help to support quality child care as well as affordability.
Read ACNJ testimony.
ACNJ presented testimony before the Assembly Budget Committee on the proposed FY 2017 state budget. Cynthia Rice’s testimony focused on preschool, child care, and childhood lead poisoning.
Read ACNJ’s testimony before the Assembly Budget Committee.