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NJ NEWS COMMONS: HOW 'JOBS NJ' PROGRAM PLANS TO PREPARE WORKERS

 

Yesterday, Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled a new workforce development and jobs training program: Jobs NJ. The goal is to prepare students in technical careers, and to keep those workers in our state. “It embraces the notion that talent is one of the key core drivers of our economic growth,” the governor said. "Targeted populations" are a crucial part of the state's economic future, Murphy argued. This group includes workers with disabilities immigrants, veterans, and people who've served time in the criminal justice system. The state will also set up a report on the jobs that are in high demand. (NJTV News / NJ Spotlight)

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IMPROVED HEALTH EQUITY IN NJ

The Commonwealth Foundation released a report yesterday that takes the temperature of the Affordable Care Act — and a major finding is that the legislation appears to be making access to health care more equitable and more fair. Here are the numbers for our state: In 2018, about 1 in 4 Hispanic residents didn't have health insurance. Before the ACA, it was much higher: about 4 in 10. Coverage for African Americans has followed a similar pattern: before the ACA, over 1 in 5 didn't have health insurance. Now, it's far less: almost 1 in 10. The researchers attributed some health equity success to states that have expanded Medicaid, including New Jersey. (NJ Spotlight)

FAMILY, SHORT-TERM DISABILITY LEAVE EXPANSION: COSTS

The statewide program that expands family leave and boosts short-term disability benefits kicks in soon, but it does come at a cost. New estimates for payroll deductions — that is, how much is coming out of your paycheck — are now available. This year, workers will pay up to $567, which is six times more than last year's maximum payment. The funds are taken out automatically, just like how you contribute to unemployment and Social Security. (NJ.com)

GOVERNOR APPEARS TO SUPPORT VACCINATION BILL

Yesterday, Gov. Phil Murphy clarified his position on the bill that would ban parents from claiming a religious exemption in an effort to not vaccinate their children. The amended legislation allowed unvaccinated kids to enroll in daycare settings and private schools, but it wasn't enough — the bill failed in the state Senate after a dramatic turn in Trenton on Monday, the last day of the legislative session. Though he declined to talk about the bill in detail, Murphy said, "I’ve been pretty clear that we make our decisions based on science and data, and we’ll continue to." He added, "I think we’ve given a pretty strong indication that that’s something that we would support.” (Politico / NJ.com)

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