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November 2015
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Syndication

As the calendar year draws to a close, thoughts often turn to those unfortunately burdened by ongoing economic and social challenges. From the United Way’s ALICE project to Legal Services of New Jersey’s recent report, ample evidence exists of how too many in the state struggle with essentials like food and shelter. According to one calculation, as many as two million of our fellow residents live in some degree of poverty.

As one of the wealthiest states in the nation, New Jersey should not tolerate these conditions. Fortunately, New Jersey has many dedicated advocates who have outlined a number of measures to deliver relief and help place people on more stable ground.

Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of poverty in the state is one of those foremost advocates, Serena Rice, Executive Director of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm EST

With the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act having recently opened, we look back to June of 2015, when the Supreme Court of the United States issued a six-to-three decision in the matter of King vs. Burwell. Most significantly, that ruling ensured the continuation of tax-credit subsidies for New Jersey’s residents, enabling thousands of citizens to retain their coverage.

Statistics indicate the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has decreased the number of New Jersey’ uninsured citizens to the lowest percentage in 25 years, while also delivering several other benefits to our population.

Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of the Affordable Care Act’s past, present and future is one of the state’s and the nation’s leading experts on the subject, Dr. Joel Cantor, Director of the Center for State Health Policy and Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Rutgers University.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35am EST

As New Start New Jersey celebrates Veterans Day and recognizes the men and women who sacrificed to secure our freedom, we see the convergence of challenges faced by veterans and the plight of the long-term unemployed. New Jersey has one of the highest percentages of long-term-unemployed citizens in the nation, while historically registering one of the highest rates of unemployment among veterans.

Fortunately, several entities are delivering outstanding services to help our veterans get back to work. On this Veterans Day, New Start New Jersey would like to highlight their efforts and review what more we can do together.

Joining New Start New Jersey Chairman and Co-Founder Philip Murphy are two leaders engaged in serving our veterans: Donna Scheel, Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans and Employment Training Service program for New Jersey; and Christopher DiMeo, Director of Programs at the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council, where he oversees the Helmets to Hardhats initiative.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:43pm EST

When President John Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, he referred to the law as a “first step” and acknowledged that “much remains to be done to achieve full equality of economic opportunity.” Over five decades later, progress toward gender pay equity has occurred, although not to a satisfactory degree.

The median earnings of women working full-time, year-round total only 78 percent of men’s median compensation. New Jersey ranks 19th among the states in terms of the wage gap, with females on average earning around $48,000 as compared to about $60,000 for males.

Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of policies the state can pursue to advance pay equity is Jessica Milli, Senior Research Associate with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:03pm EST

“The economy needs to work for everyone or it doesn’t work very well.” – David Madland, Hollowed Out

In his recently published book Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn’t Work Without a Strong Middle Class, David Madland outlines how a severely weakened middle class and extreme inequality have eroded trust, compromised governance, stunted demand and stifled human capital development, all to the detriment of the economy and society.

Madland, the Managing Director of Economic Policy and the Director of the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress, joins New Start New Jersey for a discussion of his work.

Direct download: 10_David_Madland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EST

Value-Based Insurance Design is a model enacted by several states and localities to improve the health of their populations, while at the same time lowering costs. The practice is predicated on the notion that consumers’ out-of-pocket medical expenses should be based on the value of the service they receive, rather than the price.

Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of how Value-Based Insurance Design could help our state is Dr. Mark Fendrick, the Founder and Director of the Center for Value-Based Insurance Design at the University of Michigan, where he also serves as a professor.

For more from Mark on Value-Based Insurance Design, please visit www.vbidcenter.org and @UM_VBID on Twitter.

Direct download: nsnj-value-based-insurance-design.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am EST

The fiscal health of our state directly influences the daily existence and long-term prospects of our citizens. This is a principle espoused by Paul Volcker, one of the world’s most respected leaders in finance and government.

The organization that bears his name – The Volcker Alliance – recently released Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting, a report that explores potentially harmful fiscal practices and outlines recommended adjustments. The document focuses in detail on three states: California, Virginia and our own state, New Jersey.

Joining New Start New Jersey's Philip D. Murphy for this discussion is Bill Glasgall, Program and Editorial Director of the Volcker Alliance’s State-Local Accountability and Improvement Program. Bill is the architect of Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting and one of the foremost experts on the finances of state and local governments

Read the Report >>

Direct download: nsnj-Volcker-truth-and-integrity-state-budgeting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:16pm EST

Unlike 28 other states, New Jersey does not provide a Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, a policy to assist working families with costs incurred tending to the needs of a child or incapacitated adult.  In the report with the Center for American Progress, New Start New Jersey has recommended the state implement a Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit that would be tied to a percentage of the federal benefit and would be refundable.

Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is Amy Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts at the National Women’s Law Center.  Amy is a recognized expert on economic issues affecting low- and moderate-income women and families and the co-author of Making Care Less Taxing: Improving State Child and Dependent Care Tax Provisions.

Direct download: nsnj-child-and-dependent-care-tax-credit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53pm EST

New Jersey has implemented one of the most successful early childhood education programs in the nation, providing high-quality, full-day preschool to all three- and four-year-olds in designated districts. Several states – Texas, Washington, Alabama and Michigan – as well as the federal government, have weighed similar initiatives, citing New Jersey as a model.

As New Jersey looks to continue its documented success, the state also has the opportunity to examine extending the benefits of early childhood education to a broader population. Joining New Start New Jersey Chairman and Co-Founder Philip Murphy for this discussion are Dr. W. Steven Barnett, Board of Governors Professor and Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University and Dr. William Gormley, Georgetown University Professor of Public Policy and the co-Director of the Center for Research on Children in the U.S.

Direct download: NSNJ_ep6_early_childhood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:09pm EST

The United States is the only one of 22 nations that ranks highly in terms of economic and human development not to guarantee earned sick leave. Across the country, nearly 40 percent of private-sector workers do not enjoy the benefit, with an estimated one million people in New Jersey lacking earned sick leave, exposing individuals, families and business to such negative potentialities as poor health, the spread of illness, decreased productivity and elevated attrition.

In response, Connecticut, California and recently Massachusetts have implemented or approved statewide earned sick leave, while localities including New York City, Washington, DC, Seattle and Portland, OR have adopted ordinances. In New Jersey, efforts at the local level have proved especially effective, with Jersey City, Newark, Irvington, Passaic, Paterson, Trenton, Montclair and East Orange having advanced ordinances.

Joining New Start New Jersey Chairman and Co-Founder Philip Murphy for a discussion of earned sick leave is Dr. Ruth Milkman, Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and a national expert on issues related to work and labor movements.

Direct download: NSNJ_ep5_earned_sick_leave.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:39pm EST

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a voluntary, market-based, cooperative effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, has generated since its inception $1.9 billion in cumulative proceeds, which the nine participating states invest in clean energy, energy efficiency, consumer assistance and other programs. Once a RGGI member, New Jersey withdrew in 2011, although leaders in the state have worked to forestall the exit, citing lost economic and environmental opportunities.

Joining NSNJ Chairman and Co-Founder Philip Murphy for a discussion of the model and its benefits to middle-class families are two members of the RGGI Board of Directors: Kelly Speakes-Backman, Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission: and David Cash, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Direct download: NSNJ_ep4_RGGI.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm EST

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