In his state budget address today, Governor Murphy announced that his $44.8 billion spending plan for July 2021 to June 2022 will continue to advance his vision of a "stronger and fairer" New Jersey as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Budget in Brief available here.)
ACNJ is heartened by the Governor's commitment to a fair and equitable recovery for New Jersey from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially children and families who are struggling to regain their footing. Recent Census Household Pulse Survey data show more than 30 percent of households in New Jersey are still having difficulty paying for household expenses. The proposed budget would continue needed support for critical programs, while expanding funding to cover previous gaps.
Highlights of funding changes for programs affecting children include:
- $50 million in preschool expansion funding, including $26 million to assist approximately 30 new districts to launch programs;
- Making the Child Dependent Care tax credit refundable and expanding eligibility up to $150,000;
- A new Cover All Kids initiative, which would change eligibility, waiting lists, premiums and outreach to reach the 90,000 children still uninsured in New Jersey;
- $5 million in child care pilot funding to pay for facilities improvements and shared services;
- $8.5 million to extend Medicaid coverage to 365 days for postpartum mothers, as part of the First Lady's Nurture NJ Initiative;
- Hundreds of millions in increased K-12 funding for school districts.
ACNJ is encouraged by the sustained commitment of the Murphy administration to support children and the people who care for them. We will continue to review budget materials as they become available.
As more details emerge, we will provide updates to ensure that children have a voice in this budget process.